Dear Fellow Travelers,
We are in the season of anticipation! The word alone can make a person jiggly. “Come on, come on, come on,” we wiggle, “Enough with the waiting. Let’s go!”
There are many times we wait. We wait in line at the Post Office, for the results of tests; for supper. We wait for our turn to turn left, for the day we can simply high-five each other in person, in glee! We wait. Weary of it all, we wait.
Advent, though, is a very particular kind of active, busy waiting: It is anticipation, waiting with a vision, with a purpose, with an expectation of joy! We anticipate graduations, celebrations of milestones, arrivals at landmark destinations! All of these anticipations hold an active waiting – we study and work and keep moving, day by day and night by night, anticipating.
In the case of Advent, we anticipate Christmas – the once, the always birth of the Christ Child in our midst, on the edges of what we can understand. We are in the world to anticipate – to busily work and wait for – the Reign of Peace, the Rule of Justice, the Kin-dom of God! And this is the Mystery. We wait and we needn’t wait. God is loose in the world. Christ is present in the world. Spirit fills the world. There are signs and wonders everywhere promising the fulfillment of God’s Loving-Kindness governing all that is.
On the first Sunday of Advent, the worship bulletin contained new graphics – the word itself moving over swatches of gray, violet, and pink toward the velvet darkness that holds the Christmas Star. That evening, I received the photo you see here from Cathy Velasquez Eberhart. At the end of a day, she looked up and saw the same colors in the sunset. Breathtaking.
Let those with eyes, see! The Presence for which we wait, anticipating, is here – and yet to come.
Wild blessings of the season,
Advent & Christmas Schedule
Christmastide worship is particularly precious.
It is cold outside, and worship is warm. It is busy everywhere, and worship is contemplative.
It is a time of memories and longings, and worship offers prayers and visions.
It is not a sunny time of year. We wait for the light that brings renewed life.
In this season we ANTICIPATE the birth of Jesus, the Christ!
This year our Advent worship services are simple.
We focus on connecting our many homes for a time each Sunday morning, so that we remember ourselves as a community journeying together, steering by the Star of Hope that marks the incarnation.
Sunday December 6
This Second Sunday of Advent we will share the sacred supper of Communion. We will also share some of those things which bring Christmas feelings and blessings close to each of us.
Sunday December 13
This Third Sunday of Advent we will celebrate the story of Jesus’ birth with a Lessons & Carols service of scripture readings and songs – some of which will be prepared in advance by the choir and instrumental musicians. There will be opportunities to read scripture and liturgy and sing, sing, sing!
Sunday December 20
This Fourth Sunday of Advent we will gather to view the community video creation: A (Virtual) Christmas Carol.
This video presentation has been lovingly and painstakingly created by the production team of Pastor Chris, Steve Ozanne, David Nyberg, Angela and A.K. Hed Vincent along with the amazing contributions of nearly fifty of our community! You will see this classic tale of the redemption of Ebenezer Scrooge come to life in a one-of-a-kind video project. No two persons (with 4 exceptions for multiple person households) were ever actually taped together in simultaneous conversation. The video is constructed line by line and layer by layer.
The result is astonishing, and sure to be a delight for us all.
The video will last over an hour, and will be in lieu of a traditional service.
Christmas Eve December 24
We will gather on Christmas Eve.
We will tell the story of Jesus’ birth.
We will open our arms with the whole of earth in welcome and wonder.
There will be candles, and music, and a very special Silent Night.
Sunday December 27
We will gather – each and all free to show up in jammies with a cup of cocoa (or some such thing) – and we will enjoy a worship service created for us by UMC Conference sources; adding our own prayers.
Sunday January 3, 2021!
We will celebrate a new year with Communion and a Carol Sing to tie up any loose ends as we move into a NEW YEAR on Epiphany Sunday.