Advent & Christmas 2021
As we enter the Advent season, how can our church become a house where the Holy will be born anew–offering respite, sustenance and care, opening the doors ever wider to those seeking shelter from the onslaught of life? No one church can do it all, but each can do something. As we study the biblical prophets that call us to care for our neighbors and “make room in the inn,” the lonely and frightened spaces within us are filled with the light of Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love.
Christmas Eve Services
Christmas Family Pick-Up Pageant
4:30pm in-person & online
Room at the Inn?
Experience the story of Jesus’ birth through the participation of children and adults in the service. Any child or adult present this night, whether visitor, family or friend, can join the story without practice. Enough shepherds’ crooks, angels’ halos and wise men’s crowns for anyone to use that night. Come experience this holy night as we tell the story together. This is a service specially designed for wiggly bodies, with lots of giggles throughout.
Download 4:30 bulletin here
Christmas Candlelight Service
7pm in-person and online
9pm in-person only
Housing the Holy; The Inn
The Inn is now open for business. The long-awaited Messiah has been born and on him the light shines. We have only to open the doors of our lives and to say “welcome.” Our Advent journey has led us to this moment when the light shining through a closed door becomes one opened to new possibilities, new relationships. What a poignant moment for us this year as the light–the hope, peace, joy and love–multiplies from one illuminated heart and hand to another.
Interfaith Blue Christmas, Dec. 19, 6pm
St. Peter's Episcopal Church
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.
The Blue Christmas tree will be available, with blank ornaments, in the St. Peter's Labyrinth all week for anyone in the community to add their ornament.
Hanging of the Greens
Dec. 5, 9:00 am in-Person & online
Watch as our church is transformed into a place of beauty to celebrate the Advent/Christmas season. Listen to the legends of Christmas as they are brought to us in story. And celebrate the joy of “preparing Him room.” This service is for all ages and will be led by our children and youth and our wonderful Joyful Noise Praise Band.
Click the image to join the service online.
Drive- Thru Living Nativity
Dec. 11 & 12, 6:30-8:00pm
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 route begins at Division and King St. There is no charge to attend, but non-perishable food donations for FISH are always accepted.
All volunteers are welcome! Contact the office if you are interested in joining the cast/crew!
Check our YouTube page each Sunday of Advent for a special Children's Message from Reverend Maggie.
Advent Sunday Services
11:00 in-person and online (unless otherwise noted)
November 28, 2021 1st Sunday of Advent
Housing the Holy: Making Room
(Jeremiah 33:14-16, Common English Version)
We usually associate fasting with Lent, but the Eastern Church observes a “Nativity Fast” in preparation for the birth of Christ, understanding fasting as a way to “make more room” for the Holy and shift our focus to care of the neighbor. In a time when so many are suffering the economic consequences of the pandemic, we are invited this year to create room for more hope in the world as we learn to reallocate and multiply resources in ways that are just and right.
December 5, 2021 2nd Sunday of Advent
Housing the Holy: A Place at the Table*
(Baruch 5:1-5, Common English Version)
Like the childhood game of “musical chairs,” we are convinced that there are not enough places at the table. And so we shrink the guest list just in case there is not enough, and we scramble to occupy the chairs first. And yet our sacred texts invite us to imagine and make real the gathering of all people to the table, robed in the garments of a Peace that comes with justice. This is what really matters– this is the fruit of what is right and good.
*11:00 Service only. 9:00 Service will be our Hanging of the Greens Service
December 12, 2021 3rd Sunday of Advent
Housing the Holy: How Much Is Enough?
(Luke 3:10-14, Common English Version)
As John baptized new converts, he invited them to live with “changed hearts and lives.” When asked how to do that, his answers all point to making sure no one is cheated or left without the basic necessities of life, including the right to not be harassed. A full life of joy, which the prophet Isaiah describes as an everflowing spring, is the birthright of all children of God. May we act to make it so.
December 19, 2021 4th Sunday of Advent
Housing the Holy: A Room with a View
(Luke 2:1-20, NRSV and Isaiah 9:2-7, NRSV)
This has been an Advent season of prophets: Jeremiah, Baruch, and Isaiah. And now the prophet is Mary–the woman who was the original house for the holy. She was “the inn,” her womb gestating love for the world. With all her heart, she proclaims that the lowly are lifted, the hungry are fed, mercy reigns. Like Mary, we must envision, must see, must prophesy and act on that vision for the world that God continues to call us to co-create. What is the view from the room that God has prepared?
December 26, 2021 1st Sunday of Christmas
One service, 10am in-person and online
Housing the Holy: Where we Come From
(Matthew 2:13-18, Common English Version)
When Mary, Joseph, and Jesus were forced to leave Israel because of Herod’s murderous intent to kill male babies, they immediately became homeless refugees. What if Egypt had fences and border guards and they had been turned back at the border? What would have happened then? God would have found a way but still--think about it for a moment—what if Egypt had labeled them as illegal immigrants and sent them back to Israel—what then?
January 2, 2021 Epiphany Sunday
One service, 10am in-person and online
Stars Can Only Be Seen in Darkness
(Isaiah 60:1-6 and Matthew 2:1-12 NRSV)
The Feast of the Epiphany is an invitation to wake from sleep, to gather in the holy places, to pay homage to the one true Gift: God’s desire to know and be known by us. But our use of language can’t express all that we feel about God. How can we deal with this challenge?