Advent begins Nov 27th. Worship with us at 9 am Modern Worship or 11 a.m. Traditional
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 church year for Christians.
During Advent, we prepare for and anticipate the coming of Christ. We remember the longing of Jews for a Messiah and our own longing for and need of forgiveness, salvation and a new beginning. Even as we look back and celebrate the birth of Jesus in a humble stable in Bethlehem, we also look forward anticipating the second coming of Christ as the fulfillment of all that was promised by his first coming.
Although we are accustomed to celebrating Christmas on a single day, in both Christian tradition and on the church calendar, the Christmas season lasts from sundown on Dec. 24 (Christmas Eve) through Epiphany of the Lord (Jan. 6). This is sometimes referred to as “the 12 days of Christmas.”
Advent begins with the fourth Sunday before Christmas Day. In 2022, Christmas falls on a Sunday, and Christmas Eve on Saturday night. Thus, in 2022 Advent begins Sunday, November 27, and ends at sundown on Saturday, Dec. 24 three weeks plus a portion of an additional day. If Christmas comes on a Sunday, Advent will begin on Nov. 27 and last four full weeks.
The color for Advent has traditionally been purple, although some churches have adopted blue. In practice, however, as churches increasingly incorporate the symbols and decorations of Christmas during Advent, more and more red, green and gold are appearing. The United Methodist Book of Worship upholds the traditional color of purple for Advent, signifying penitence and royalty, but also allows blue, the color of hope.”
Adapted from “What is Advent?” and “Understanding Advent” by Dean McIntyre, retired director of music resources, Discipleship Ministries.
Originally published in Interpreter Magazine, November–December, 2017.
Ready to cook up some fun? Register today yo be part of the Food Truck Party. Children ages preK – 4th grade to get on a roll with God as a parade of Food Trucks rolls into their neighborhood for the summer’s biggest party!
This VBS invites children to pray as Jesus teaches us in Matthew 6:11; “Give us this day our daily bread.” These words serve as a reminder that everything we have comes from God — and that it’s by turning to God in prayer that all of our daily needs are met.
At the center of the Food Truck Party is a special food truck called “On a Roll.” Here, Kids (or “Chefs”) will learn from the food truck’s Top Chef, along with DJ Cupcake (an adorable cupcake puppet), about the Daily Specials (Daily Learnings), which are lines from the well-loved prayer that teaches us to turn to God to meet our needs.
We live in a culture bent on definitions of a good life as continuous upward mobility–climbing ladders of prosperity with increasingly fabulous experiences that we can post to ever-more-likable social media accounts. We may comb the shelves of the self-help section in search of just the right formula to gain success. Perhaps we even gravitate towards spiritual leaders who promise great rewards if we only do “the right thing.” But life happens, right? Most times we are not moving upward but trying to repair the rung we’ve just slipped from. So what if we stopped climbing and started fertilizing, watering, and blooming right where we find ourselves? Welcome to a Lent of affirming a faith in which we are blessed, regardless, and where we can lean into embracing our “good enough” lives. Our Lenten Journey begins with Ash Wednesday Worship on March 2nd at 7:00pm in person and online.
On Sunday, we reflected together on Luke 13:1-9. Pastor Toni Ruth reminded us that sometimes in our lives bad things happen that have no connection to personal sin or righteousness, they are just bad things that happen. In our desire to understand why such things happen we can miss an important teaching from Jesus who invites us to keep our eyes not on others, but on what is happening in our lives right now and how can and will use even the hard things in our lives to draw us closer to His love. We can miss the call to repent- turn around – and find God’s grace waiting for us.
This Lent, what is going on in your life that is hard or that you’d prefer to not think about? What sin or behavior patterns are you stuck in that are keeping you from understanding God’s love for you? What “fertilizer” has come your way that God can use to tend the soil of your life with the medicine of tears, repentance, and struggle that leads to life?
Remember this poem that Pastor Toni Ruth shared and ask God to help you see your need for him in this season of your life.
Don’t surrender your loneliness
Let it cut more deep.
Let it ferment and season you
as few human
Or even divine ingredients can.
Something missing in my heart tonight
Has made my eyes so soft,
My need of God
On Sunday Pastor Toni Ruth invited us to reflect on Jesus lament over Jerusalem in Luke 13. “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it. How often I have longed to gather you as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were not willing.” When we feel out of control or as though danger approaches, we can run around like chickens with their heads cut off, trying to get our needs met, trying to avoid pain or conflict, trying to ensure that the worst wont’ happen to us. The illusion of control is so helpful, but sometimes life hands us situations where we are deeply aware of all the things that we cannot control. In such moments we have a choice. We can run around frantic and aimless or we can allow God to gather us in, hold us close, anchor us through the storm. What keeps you from being willing to be gathered? What would it look like for you to stop your hustle, your frantic grasping for control, your agenda for your life and find that God is enough for you today? Find a moment today to be still, breath deep, and listen for God’s call for you to come and find your center amid the chaos under the shadow of his wings. Read Psalm 27 and offer your prayer to God for where you most need to be gathered to God’s love. Sunday Sermon – March 6th First Sunday of Lent