By Carla Harper
Contributing Writer, B&R
NEWPORT — “All is Calm. All is Bright” was the theme for the annual Christmas in November Women’s Luncheon held Nov. 10 at Carson Springs Baptist Conference Center in Newport.
Kevin Perrigan, manager of Carson Springs, and his wife, Debra, have sponsored the event since they first came to Carson Springs 11 years ago.
“We continue this tradition each year because it continues to have an impact. We continue to see results. Women come back and bring friends with them each year. Women tell us they have a good time; and more importantly, they have told us that it helps them get their mind set on Christ before the holidays get them too busy to get distracted from what Christmas is really about,” Perrigan said.
2018 was no different. The impact was tremendous, as three women gave their hearts to Christ, Perrigan said. The impact of the event also will continue in the coming summer months when camps start to arrive at Carson Springs. An offering in the amount of $1,500 was given to sponsor youth at the All Nations Summer Camp, he added.
Perrigan’s wife, Debra, reminded the crowd of 144 that Christmas is not about lights and presents and making our homes look and smell a certain way. She said Christmas can get busy so being calm is necessary because there is an evangelistic opportunity.
“At Christmas time, some people will let you minister to them that won’t let you minister to them at any other time of the year,” Debra said.
Keynote speaker for the event, Emily Terrell, wife of Justin Terrell, pastor of First Baptist Church, Dandridge, said she loved the theme “All is Calm. All is Bright” because the reason Christians can remain calm is because of the baby born on Christmas who was God in human flesh.
“Sometimes we feel like our schedules get full and we get busy with life, but we can remain calm because of the baby Jesus who came with all the power and authority of the Word. The Word gave sight to the blind man, raised the dead to life and calmed the raging sea. The Word created the wind and the waves and has the power to calm them,” Terrell said.
Terrell said it is the Word that makes everyone calm and bright. “He is our source of bright because He experienced a day without light on the cross when He took all our sins upon Himself and died. Jesus died, but that darkness didn’t win. The light of the world proved who He is. That is what makes our lives calm and bright,” Terrell said.
Proving that Christmas decorating does not have to be expensive, each table was decorated by women throughout East Tennessee with the idea of using items they already had instead of buying new things for decorations. The hope each year is to swap ideas with other women so others can duplicate the table displays and other decoration ideas.
Betty Finchum, who attends Antioch Baptist Church in Dandridge, has been coming to the event since the first year. She decorated two tables using teddy bears and other children’s toys that she uses in a children’s ministry.
“I love coming each year. I love decorating a table as well as seeing all of the other tables. It is fun to share ideas and be inspired by these women. I have made a lot of friends here, and it is something that I look forward to each year before the Christmas season starts getting busy. The devotions and speakers are always good,” Finchum said.