“Raise your voice... raise it; don’t be afraid!” - Isaiah 40:9
The history of humanity is fraught with pain–especially the pain that comes accompanied by fear and leads to oppression and violence of one people against another. This is the world into which Jesus was born and through which his teachings would challenge and call for transformation. The opening words of an anonymous Jewish poet, “I believe in the sun, even when the sun is not shining,” were scrawled on a wall during the Holocaust. This theme song for our season calls us to examine our penchant for annihilating fear by annihilating each other. The power of narrative and music will call us to a different response– transformation and reconciliation through hope, love, joy, and peace. This Advent and Christmas, let us fill the night with music and light and affirm and act on the reasons why we can still “believe, even when” we are discouraged.
Luminaria, & Advent Wreaths
Spread joy in our community by joining us in lighting luminaria in our yards every evening at 6pm. Send us a picture of your lit luminaria to share.
We will light our Advent Wreaths together on Sunday mornings. Follow links below for ideas for creating your luminaria and wreaths.
Greening the Church, Dec. 6, 4pm live online
Watch as together we transform our homes and our church into places of beauty to celebrate the Advent/Christmas season. Listen to the legends of Christmas as they are brought to us in story by our children and youth.
Together on ZOOM, we will celebrate the joy of “preparing Him room” with music brought to us by our wonderful Joyful Noise Praise Band. As you need is to have your tree in a stand, and the lights strung around it. Have the ornaments all ready and join us on ZOOM. We’ll decorate our trees together.
Drive- Thru Living Nativity
See and feel the sights, sounds, and emotions felt at the time of Christ’s birth. Witness the journey as live people and animals walk The Road to Bethlehem. 800 luminaria light your way through ten scenes telling the Christmas Story.
The rout begins at Division and King St. Please note, there is no walking path this year.
There is no charge to attend, but non-perishable food donations for FISH are always accepted.
Please watch our announcements for updates.
Dec. 12 & 13, 6:30-7:30pm
Film Festival, Discussions Wednesday, 6:30 Zoom
The theme for Advent and Christmas this year focuses on the power of music in our lives and in the history of humanity. Song and singing together has always been a way that communities feel connected and empowered together. We certainly have been experiencing the loss of not making music together as a church for a while. So this theme will help us dive deeper into our appreciation of music and its role in our lives.
The films in this series were chosen because they tell powerful stories of people who were uplifted by music in very difficult times. Some are historic, some are current. All are relevant to the times in which we live.
Please note that these films are not suited for young children because they depict some very disturbing times in history or difficult lives. There is also a Film Festival just for children as part of this series as well that uses children’s Christmas classics. Let us know if you want access to those if you don’t already.
We hope that our experience of these stories and our celebration of the power of music will remind us that we have a song to sing and we are called to sing and make sure everyone can as well!
Participate in our Zoom discussions, or watch and participate individually. Rev. Maggie will briefly introduce each film on Sunday before its viewing date.
Follow this link to view the full schedule and reflections, including links to view each film online.
Sunday Services, Sundays, 10am live online,
online services are avaible for viewing later as well.
November 29, 2020 1st Sunday of Advent
"I Believe in the Sun: Hope for Tomorrow”
(Isaiah 40: 1-11)
Raise your voices, change your hearts, get ready to be transformed, because now is the time. Have hope that we can do what needs to be done to bring more light into the world.
December 6, 2020 2nd Sunday of Advent
"I Believe in Love: Daring Right Relationship”
(Matthew 1: 23 and Isaiah 65: 17-25)
A new way of being, of relating and loving takes courage– eschewing the present order of things so that a new and better day can be born.
Join us at 4pm Dec. 6 for our Hanging of the Greens event
December 13, 2020 3rd Sunday of Advent
"I Believe in God: Ode to Joy”
(Isaiah 57: 15-16 and Luke 1:46-55)
Like the Jewish exiled people of Isaiah’s time and the early Christians, we also sometimes wonder where God is in our suffering. We long to hear the promise that a reason for joyful praise is the good news on the way!
December 20, 2020 4th Sunday of Advent
"I Believe in the Light: Illuminating Peace”
(John 1: 3-5 and Isaiah 9:2-7)
The Word is made flesh and dwells among us. This reign is now… will we believe it? Will we continue to put flesh on it, embodying the peace meant for all humanity?
December 27, 2020 1st Sunday of Christmas
"Believe This: The Time has Come”
(Luke 2: 31-32 and Isaiah 62:1)
The story of Jesus’ ritual cleansing as a child contains stories of people who had been waiting for this moment. But the time of waiting is over–for us too. Like Isaiah who says, “for Zion’s sake I won’t stay silent, and for Jerusalem’s sake I won’t sit still,” we will not stop our songs of resistance until justice shines out like a light for all.
A Very Messy Christmas, Dec. 20, 3pm Live Online
Using story and arts and crafts, this service will be our Family Christmas Eve service but it will be available all throughout the Christmas vacation for families to watch at their leisure. Go to the church website to find the video and join in the fun. Before you watch the video, consult the list on the website that will tell what craft items you’ll need for the projects.
Blue Christmas, Dec. 20, 6pm In-Person,
For many people this year, Christmas will be difficult and perhaps, hard to celebrate. This service is for anyone who has lost someone or lost a job or their health or just feels sad. This 30-minute service will be held outdoors (or indoors if it’s raining) while social distancing and we will remember our losses and renew our faith in God. Invite someone you know that may need a service like this one.
Christmas Eve Service & Pilgrimage
Christmas Candlelight Services 7pm live online
Through the carols and lessons of the season, we celebrate the birth of Jesus on this most Holy of nights. At the end of the service, we light our candles to spread the light of Christ throughout the church and into the world. Be sure to have a candle for everyone in your family.
Christmas Eve Pilgrimage 8:00 – 10:00 pm in-person
Immediately following the online service, be sure to come to the church and follow our luminaria path around the grounds with a walk through the sanctuary. While we cannot worship in the sanctuary right now, you can still see the beautiful decorations, contemplate the night Mary gave birth, and think of John’s words in the Gospel: “the light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not overcome it.”
Please remember to wear a mask.