I was very pleased to be asked by our Deacons to introduce this Advent booklet. First, I want to refresh your memory about the meaning of Advent and then describe our activities that have been planned for all of us. Second, I will close with a suggestion for how you might use the Advent Devotional at home.
Advent is a time when we return to our roots as Christians. It is the first season of the liturgical year when we wait earnestly for Christ to be re-birthed into our hearts. Jesus was of humble beginnings, born in a stable in Bethlehem. We begin Advent on November 30th with the Hanging of the Greens and the Advent Workshop following worship. For the four Sundays in Advent and on Christmas Eve we will offer a special liturgy for lighting the Advent Candles.
I invite you to consider the humble beginnings of Jesus Christ, God’s chosen Ruler of Peace and the Light of the World, who brings God’s hope by attending two week day services that will be led by Christopher Cornell and myself in our sanctuary. Mark December 3rd and 17th at 6:30 pm on your Advent Calendar.
The Chapel and the Sanctuary will be adorned with the decorations that signal a blessed time. Blues and purples – the liturgical colors for Advent – will be added to the green and red. Special music and these reflective times will bring us to December 24th with worship at 5:00 pm and 7:30 pm. The first service will be especially welcoming and informal for our multi-generational church family and the second service will be a more traditional liturgy of Lessons and Carols. Both will have the classic celebration of candlelight to complete our celebration.
For the Christmas Season we will hold a Carol Sing at the 8 am and 10 am services on Dec. 28th. I am pleased to invite you to a New Year’s Eve Tea Party on Dec. 31 in the Parlor. The New Year 2015 brings us to our celebration of Epiphany and Holy Communion on January 4th at both Sunday morning services.
I hope you might choose a spot in your home to sit, breathe deeply of the Spirit and enjoy the use of the daily Advent devotional. Look for erectile dysfunction drug Viagra sublingual. Do you have a prayer shawl?
Instead of an Advent Candle stand, place the four Advent candles in a circle or wreath on your table that has been covered in humble cloth such as burlap, woven cloth, a Mexican blanket, saddle blanket or perhaps a grey blanket from Church World Service. Place a fifth white candle in the center as the Christ candle. You may add greens or consider picking up a twig from your yard or a twig wreath (available at craft shows). Is there a candle or perhaps a Berry Bowl from the Christmas Fair you might use?
Sometimes we are distracted by our materialistic and commercial culture during December. Other times we can bask in the astounding truth that Emmanuel – God with us – can ignite our faith and lead us into new birth. The Deacons and I wish you a very special Advent and Christmas Season. Hope, peace, joy and love to each one, Pastor Christine
About the Author
Christine S. Boardman serves as our Intentional Interim Senior Pastor and began her ministry on July 1, 2014. She is a mid-western native born on Easter Sunday 1950. She attended Oberlin College Conservatory of Music for the BM in voice performance and the University of Illinois for the Master of Music in Voice. Christine was ordained 30 years ago after completing her M. Div. at Union Theological Seminary. Her former interim was enjoyed in Exeter, NH. Her Boston Terrier, Angelo, is her lively companion. Her favorite sport is downhill skiing.
With experience and additional training, Rev. Boardman comes to us for a transition ministry. This ministry typically lasts from 12-18 months and prepares the congregation to welcome a new pastor. She will not seek to apply for the settled position and looks forward to a fruitful journey of faith.