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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Christmas in Shishmaref

We found warmth and grace at the Arctic Circle

As the plane left Shishmaref, Alaska, my husband and I silently watched the lights below disappear from our view. We came to give a pastoral presence in the village during Christmas week. But we left enriched with many memories of that little village near the Arctic Circle. 

Windows in the Shishmaref parsonage face south, framing wonderful views of the "coming of the light." At dawn (about 11) on clear days, we watched the sun move across the southern horizon, never getting very high. The sunlight produced beautiful hues in that stark, white, treeless land. The Christmas message of the light that the darkness could not overcome was symbolized for us each clear day.


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