Dear Church Family,
The season of Advent has been observed for centuries by Christians as a time to consider the significance of the Son of God coming into the world and to prepare for the celebration of his birth. Most people today are unaware of the meaning of Advent, assuming “preparing for Christmas” involves shopping, baking and making travel plans. This makes it all the more important that you and I give emphasis to Advent as a season of personal preparedness for the arrival of Jesus, the Christ.
The love of God that descended to Bethlehem in the form of his Son is not only a matter of glad tidings but is the all-powerful, all-loving grace of God that transforms lives. This grace reveals our sin and overcomes it, and this grace conquers darkness and brings light to the world. Such transforming grace can never be achieved by human effort but only by divine intervention.
Our four Advent Sundays, this first of which is December 1, will feature special readings and the lighting of our Christmas wreath, and the Advent Sermon Series will explore the four main themes of preparing ourselves for Christ’s coming: Hope, Peace, Love, and Joy. As are available throughout the year, the sermons will be accompanied by the Daily Bible Reading Plan and Devotional. I invite you to daily reading and thoughtful meditation on God’s Word during the Advent Season.
On Christmas Eve we will offer three services. The early service at 4:00pm is structured especially for families with children who want to come to church together. Special music and an expanded Young Disciples Time will help those who are younger among us enjoy this special night. The 7:00pm Christmas Eve service will feature many of our beloved Christmas Carols and music from our Choir, and will include the passing of the Christ light. At 9:00pm on Christmas Eve we will celebrate with a quieter service of Special Music, Candlelight and Communion.
Lastly, let me remind you that there are some in our community who will be looking for a church to attend during the Christmas season. However, many “un-churched” people believe that church is like a club and you really shouldn’t show up unless you are a member. Please invite your friends and neighbors who don’t have a church home, or whose church does not offer a Christmas Eve Service, to come with you to our church. And let them know that they will be warmly welcomed!
Yours in Christ,