Christmas at St. Nicholas Church

pa51352_p3atjw_462x5000Throughout the year, we go to three churches: St. Patrick in Grass Valley, Holy Trinity in Nevada City and St. Nicholas in Tahoe City. Each one has its own identity and history.

On Christmas Day, we attended St. Nicholas Episcopal Church in Tahoe City. “The recorded history of the Episcopal Church in Tahoe City starts July 27, 1900,” according to the church’s history. “In The Sacramento Missionary of 1903, Bishop Moreland described the area and reported that ‘A Sunday School has been formed at Tahoe City, and in a year or two we home to see a church erected from the contributions of summer visitors. In the winter this country is buried in ten feet of snow.’”

On Christmas Eve, about 70 people gathered in the small chapel, almost a full house, according to Rev. Jenni; on Christmas Day, there were about 20 of us, largely young local families with their children.

It was an informal affair, as always. Our son read from Isaiah, an impromptu decision by Jenni when we arrived.  Longtime resident Ann Bryant, founder of the Bear League, helped with the service. She also brought along her two pet bulldogs, who sat quietly in the back.

Years ago, Ann had a pet porcupine and brought it to the summer service, where it sat on a bench. The Reverend joked it was “stealing the show.” I forwarded the item to my friend and colleague Herb Caen, who wrote about it in his “three dot” column.

Afterward this time, we crunched our way through the snow. It was an idyllic and memorable Christmas Day.

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website SierraCulture.com. Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for years, was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News, and was Editor of The Union, a 145-year-old newspaper in Grass Valley. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing and trout fishing.

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