This weekend my other love, Karitos, is celebrating their first Karitos Christmas in Streator, Ill at Grace Community Church. I’m going and my dear friends Zach and Susannah Francis are driving me there. Zach and Susannah are currently serving on the executive board of Karitos. They have been dear friends of mine for over 20 years.
We’re not sure exactly what this event will look like since its the first we’ve done. We’ve planned activities like cookie decorating and a Christmas card contest. I will be leading in making some beaded star ornaments and their will be Christmas themed movies playing. There will also be a Family Portrait Station. Most of these events are free. Those requiring a fee the cost goes directly to the Karitos Organization so it can put on more conferences though the year.
The activities are from 2 to 4 p.m. At 4 p.m. there will be a worship time and Christmas program. Karitos Dancers Ginny Ching Yin Lo, Alyce Anders and Ellen Aldridge are planning a number of dance pieces for the event. Gene and Anne Schmidt will be leading the worship time and I get to do a spoken word from Marlo Schalesky’s Book Wrestling with Wonder about the birth of Jesus through the eyes of Mary.
I started going to the Karitos conference in around 2011, 2012. I helped host mini conference’s in the Indianapolis area based on the Chicago conference for about 6 years and I have been serving as a the Youth Department head for the main Karitos conference for the the past few years. Karitos is about learning who you are and what your gifts are that God wants to refine and use. It is for the artistic minded and covers visual art, dance, theater, writing, poetry, music, songwriting, and worship. To me it has become an extended family of supportive, loving people who celebrate each other’s differences and artistic talents. Each gathering is like a family reunion. If you are artistic I encourage you to at least visit their website and see what its about. It definitely changed my life and I am so grateful for it. Karitos
Photo’s by Cheri Heron