Sometimes it helps to look back a few years and see how we've changed: The history of the Highrock Church in Arlington offers clues.
Just five years ago, YourArlington reported about the last day of the Town Hall Diner. The long-established "townie" gathering spot was part of a block of properties sold to the church, and old-timers met the change with wistfulness.
On Dec. 29, 2007, Herb Farnsworth of Arlington, whose son operates the Hometown Garage in Burlington, was among those saying goodbye. A customer for 30 years, he said the restaurant has been "like a second family" to him.
The story also noted change that the church hoped to bring.
The Rev. Eugene P. Kim, then the associate pastor, gave two examples at the time:
* Church members collect leftover bread from Panera in the Heights and distribute it to Menotomy Manor and Winslow Towers.
* A series of benefit concerts raised $5,000 for the Arlington Food Pantry during three nights in December at the church.
The first was documented in a feature the following November titled "AHS students give old bread new life."
The second has become an annual tradition.
As reported in a Dec. 23 front-page story in The Boston Globe, the concert has become much more than that.
Kim, now executive pastor and director of the Christmas concert, told the newspaper that the gift extends the church's mission -- it has funded a part-time social worker for the Arlington Youth Consultation Center.
The violins, electric guitars, drums and keyboards as well as the 41-voice chorus raised about $15,000.
The Globe story described the effort as "one-of-a-kind among seasonal church fund-raisers in Greater Boston."
This story was published Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2012.