Advent & Christmas

Advent Devotional – Rise Up, Shepherd!
This Advent season, we are reading Luke A. Powery’s Rise Up, Shepherd! Advent Reflections on the Spirituals. Copies are available in the church office for a suggested donation of $9, or may be sourced from your favorite bookseller. “African American spirituals give us profound insights into the human condition and the Christian life. In these devotions for the season of Advent, Luke Powery leads the reader through the spirituals as they confront the mystery of incarnation and redemption. In Rise Up, Shepherd!, each devotion features the lyrics of the spiritual, a reflection on the spiritual’s meaning, a Scripture verse, and a brief prayer.

Hanging of the Greens
Tuesday, November 27, 5pm pizza and 5:30pm decorating
Join Associate Minister Antigoné Lowery for this informal, season-setting fellowship occasion to “deck the hall” with greenery in anticipation of the Christmas season. Please contact the church office to RSVP.

First Sunday of Advent
Sunday, December 1, 9:30 and 11am services
The Advent season begins with a Communion Sunday and in both of our worship services, we will reflect on Luke 1:5-24 and the nativity narrative from Zechariah’s perspective.

Second Sunday of Advent — Advent Workshop
Sunday, December 8, 9:30 and 11am services followed by the Advent Workshop
Following our morning worship services, we will host an Advent Workshop for the congregation including a sloppy joe luncheon. Join us for a time of crafting and fellowship that will warm the heart and soul!

Breakfast with Santa
Saturday, December 14, 9-11am
This family-friendly community event invites families with children to enjoy a pancake breakfast and a morning full of fun activities, including having a picture taken with Santa Claus! This event is free and open to the public. We are also seeking elf volunteers to help in the kitchen, serve, and clean up at this event. Please email Kasey Kalchert to learn more. Volunteer this year and bring love and light into a neighbor’s heart!

Third Sunday of Advent — Wassail Sunday
Sunday December 15, 9:30am and 11am followed by Wassail
Follow your nose and the scent of clove and spice to Fellowship Hall after each of our morning’s Advent services for a warm cup of wassail (alcohol free). This time honored recipe has been handed down through the generations at First Church from the Nowell’s family and is carefully prepared each year by Don Cooper.

Service of Hope & Healing
Wednesday, December 18, at 7:30pm in the Chapel
The festive season is not always an easy or joyous time for those of us who are grieving or who are struggling to make sense of our world and life experiences. You are invited to enter into a comforting and honest space for our Service of Hope & Healing that makes room for those who need a time apart, those who may be wrestling amidst all the holiday cheer. Music will be provided by guest pianist Marge Adler. Childcare is available.

Fourth Sunday of Advent – Unrehearsed Christmas Pageant
Sunday, December 22, 9:30 and 11am (featuring the pageant)
In our 9:30am worship service, we’ll explore the Good News of Luke 3:7-18 and the nativity from the point of view of John the Baptist. Our music will be led by folk guitarist, Kathy Johnson. At the 11am worship, attendees of all ages are invited to pick up a costume as they enter the Meetinghouse to participate in our annual Unrehearsed Christmas Pageant. A telling of the birth story that brings the hope of the nativity to life in the midst of the gathered community as we tell the story once again and form a tableau around the manger.

Christmas Eve Services on Tuesday, December 24
Tuesday, December 24, 5pm, 8pm, and 11pm
Children’s Worship – At 5pm, join our pastors and jazz pianist, Dave Aberth, for a 45 minute service for those who are young in age and young at heart.
Lessons and Carols – At 8pm, our Festival service of Lessons and Carols together with organ, brass, handbells will lift your spirits as we sing carols and light candles while singing Silent Night, celebrating the Christ-child.
Carols, Candles, and Communion – At 11pm, the service offers a more reflective opportunity for worship with communion, candle lighting, and carols accompanied by classical guitar and the sounds of O Holy Night.

Carol Sing Sunday
Sunday, December 29, 9:30 and 11am
Celebrate the twelve days of Christmas – the season of Christmas that lasts from Christmas Day until Epiphany – by joining us for a carol sing at both our 9:30 and 11am worship services.

Epiphany Sunday
Sunday, January 5, 9:30 and 11am
Welcome in the New Year with the revelation of the power and purpose of the Christ-child who we remember was revealed to the world on Epiphany Sunday.