ecclesia: church at the chip
a community of faith, love and hope


Christmas at the Chip

It was during the Christmas season six years ago when the media first caught wind of the crazy Cave Creek church that met at the the Buffalo Chip. I vividly recall the day when, while cleaning a pool in Scottsdale, I received a call from the Arizona Republic asking, “Is it true that there is a church meeting in the Buffalo Chip? If so, do you mind if we do a story on you folks?”

I was shocked, but did my best to answer his questions. Sure enough, on a cold Sunday in December, a photographer showed up to record our little outdoor gathering. The story ran in the Sunday Christmas edition of the Republic, and no doubt, was one of the main reasons we had our first-ever large crowd on Christmas Eve. It was a special evening, and all of us church pioneers went home feeling exhausted and thankful for God’s blessing on our fledgling church family.

So it is with joy and thankfulness that I invite you to celebrate the Christmas season with Church at the Chip.

Festivities begin this weekend (December 1, 2) as we participate in the Cave Creek Community Christmas Pageant at 7:00 up at Spur Cross Ranch. This 66 year-old Cave Creek tradition is a perfect way to put you in the Christmas spirit as the traditional story is told in a beautiful moonlit desert setting, complete with animals, actors, and an a cappella choir, featuring several from our own church family. To get to the Pageant, take Spur Cross Road north off of Cave Creek Road, and continue north until you get to Spur Cross Ranch. Bring a flashlight, a lawn chair, and a warm coat.

The best way to enjoy the Pageant, however, is to come to our home on Sunday, December 2, for a Chili/Soup Supper at 5:00 p.m., before going to the Pageant at 7:00. Donna will have some of her fabulous homemade chocolates, and I’ll be giving away some of my home-roasted coffee for anyone who is brave enough to grind their own beans. All this in addition to some fantastic homemade chili options, and it’s a beautiful way to spend some time together as a church family during the holiday season. We live at 6540 E Military Road in Cave Creek. Our phone is (480) 510-9518. (If you have a favorite chili/soup dish you’d like to bring, let us know.)

Let’s not forget Sunday morning, December 2! It is the first Sunday of Advent, the traditional period of preparation for Christmas. In keeping with that theme, we will sing some ofthe great carols of Christmas— with a cowboy flavor, of course. And I’m excited to begin a five-week series of messages called, “Christmas According to John.” I think you’ll really like it.

But wait … there’s more! December 2 is the first Sunday of the month, so you know what that means: Breakfast at the Chip immediately following our 9:00 worship gathering. As always, this is a perfect time to bring a friend to experience the casual cowboy hospitality of Church at the Chip.

Finally, while we’re thinking about the Christmas season, be sure to make plans for our annual Christmas Eve Service on December 24 at 6:00 p.m. It’s the best way to experience Christmas — out of doors, just like the first Christmas. Our simple and sincere evening or worship has begun to mean so much to the Cave Creek community that it would be hard for many of us to imagine Christmas without it. So put it on your calendar, and be sure to come early!

God bless you all, and Merry Christmas!

Steve Gilbertson