Advent 2017

[photo of Joy and John Tolar lighting Advent candle] Welcome to Advent! The Advent season is a four-Sunday period of reflection and preparation for Christmas. Our calendar will be full of events this month, including a Christmas Party.

John of the Cross wrote a poetic invitation appropriate to this season.

A wayfaring virgin   
        divine Word in her womb,
is coming your way,   
        if you only have room.

The seasons of Advent and Christmas offers each open heart the opportunity to encounter once again God’s gift of the Word made flesh. Through the inevitable hustle and bustle, we hope you can take time enjoy the events of this season as they unfold.

One of the customs we observe is lighting a new candle on our Advent wreath each Sunday during the season of Advent.

The theme for the first Sunday of Advent is Hope. We light a candle on the Advent wreath to symbolize hope. The choir plans to sing the anthem, “How Shall We Know Him?” The adult Sunday School class will be considering the Second Advent of Christ, related to the theme of the first Sunday of Advent.

The theme for the second Sunday of Advent is Peace. We'll light a candle on the Advent wreath to symbolize peace. Our anthem will be “Such A Small King.”

On the third Sunday of Advent, we'll light a candle to represent joy, because Joy is the theme for this Sunday. The choir will sing “A Christmas Hallelujah.”

On the fourth Sunday of Advent, we'll light a candle for love, because Love is the theme for this Sunday. The choir will sing “Come, Rejoice Believers.” In the afternoon, we'll go Christmas caroling.

Through Advent, you can put Christmas cards in our special mailbox in the church hall. Our young people will distribute them around Christmas. We are also encouraged to donate the postage we save to the special Christmas offering, which we will begin receiving December 10. This offering benefits the ministries of our Regional Church.

A traditional part of our Christmas season is to collect contributions for a gift to thank our staff: pastor Janet Moore, choir director Cory Davis, and Linda Gold, our custodian. If you wish to contribute for this gift, please give your donations directly to Michael Phillips or place an offering marked “staff gift” in the plate during our worship by December 17.

On Christmas Eve, we'll celebrate our candlelit Christmas Eve Service of Readings and Carols. This is one of our most beautiful worship celebrations of the year.

May Advent and Christmas be a continual unfolding of blessing for you, with a renewal of hope, peace, joy, and love for the year to come.