Welcome to Advent! It is the season of preparation and waiting four weeks to celebrate the birth of Jesus. It is a special preparing time – to stop and consider what changes and actions we may need to take to welcome Jesus more deeply in our lives. It is a waiting time as we consider in our Old Testament readings the 450 years God’s people had to wait for the coming of the Messiah.
About our Theme: Close to Home
When something hits close to home, it affects us deeply. During the Advent and Christmas season, we journey through scriptures and rituals that are tender, heavy with emotion, and vulnerable. We carry the memories and truths of this season close to our hearts. Close to Home acknowledges the “already but not yet” tension of our faith: Emmanuel is with us, and yet, God’s promised day – our everlasting home – is not full realized. It names our deep longing for God to come close to us this season.
Advent is a quiet and slow time. It is a reflective time. We don’t hurry to Christmas. We don’t sing carols during these four weeks but save them for Christmas Eve. We use a special Advent Wreath to count down the weeks as a call for prayer and scripture reading. In order to help you, we will send out a portion of our Advent Devotional: Close to Home each week for your inward spiritual preparation.
Each Advent worship service will help us to prepare and wait as we explore what it means to be “close to home.”
Jesus speaks of terrible future world events to a homesick people longing for hope.
LAYING THE FOUNDATION (PEACE)
God lays the foundation of the coming of the Messiah in the ministry of John the Baptist.
A HOME FOR ALL (JOY) – ADVENT CHORAL SERVICE
The Music Ministries brings the message of John the Baptist to prepare and level the rough and hilly terrain of our lives. Come and join the Reconciliation Ringers, the special Advent Choir, the Praise Team and others for this service.
SEEKING SANCTUARY (LOVE)
When Mary received the news of her pregnancy, she sought sanctuary and refuge with her cousin Elizabeth. It was just what she needed as she prepared for the important call ahead. Mary’s yearning for sanctuary becomes a way for us this Advent as we seek to welcome the Christ Child into our lives once again.