As hard as it is to believe, the season of Advent awaits us shortly, whether we are ready for it or not! During Advent, our worship services will help us to be prepared for the arriving of the Messiah — the Christ Child.
So what exactly is Advent? "The season of Advent, which comes from the Latin word adventus meaning 'coming' or 'visit,' begins four Sundays before Christmas and ends on Christmas Eve. Advent is the beginning of the liturgical year for Christians.
Although we are accustomed to celebrating Christmas on a single day, in both Christian tradition and on the Church calendar, the Christmas season lasts sundown on December 24 (Christmas Eve) through Epiphany of the Lord (January 6). This is sometimes popularly referred to as "the twelve days of Christmas." (umc.org)
We will prepare for the coming of the Christ Child through music, scriptures, messages, candle lighting, choral readings, etc. There will be sign-up sheets for the following ways you can participate in the Advent worship services:
- Advent Candle Lighting & Reading
- Choral Reading (Not a drama but reading in a dramatic way)
- Providing a table top Nativity set for Christmas Eve
- Be part of an "ad-hoc" choir for Dec. 17 service
FOCUS FOR ADVENT MESSAGES
12/3/17 (WEEK 1) – The Reason for the "Reason for the Season" – Mark 13:24-37
A Message in Music will be presented by Dorothy Paige-Turner and her choral group.
Communion will NOT be served on this date. It will be served at the Christmas Eve 5PM service.
"The journey we begin today calls us to direct our longings toward God and the promises for transformation that we receive in Jesus Christ." — The Upper Room. The Upper Room Disciplines 2017 (Kindle Locations 5935-5936). Upper Room Books. Kindle Edition.
12/10/17 (WEEK 2) – Waiting in the Wilderness Faithfully – Isaiah 40: 1-11; Mark 1:1-8; 2 Peter 3:8-15a
Life these days involves a lot of waiting. This is even true in our spiritual life. We want to grow in virtue and character, but maturity is not something that happens overnight. We must wait for it patiently.
12/17/17 (WEEK 3) – The Shape of Advent Joy (Christmas On The Creek) – Psalm 126
When God's mercy broke through to those spoken of in Psalm 126, the shape of their faith took on a new look — one of joyful transformation.
RECEIVING THE CHRISTMAS OFFERING
12/24/17 (WEEK 4) – 10:30 AM Morning Worship Service – Songs and Carols
12/24/17 (CHRISTMAS EVE) – 5:00 PM Service with Communion
Thin Places – Micah 5:2-5a; Luke 2:1-14 (15-20) – Some places in the world reveal the thin line between Heaven and Earth. Bethlehem may be the thinnest place of all.