The creative team at Sanctified Art came up with an interesting theme for this year’s Advent season: What Can’t Wait. Rachel and I both were intrigued and challenged by the idea that even in the season of Advent, a season that most of us typically think of as a season of anticipation, that there are some things that just can’t wait. Traditionally, the four Sundays of Advent revolve around Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love. I think most of us believe that no one should have to wait to experience any of these things. We could have stuck with these four, but these artists challenged us to think bigger. They asked, what else can’t wait? We felt that there are some other themes and ideas that can be found in traditional Advent texts that God calls us to not delay: Liberation, Imagination, Changing Direction, and Awakening. Our plan is that over the Advent season, we’ll talk about how we see these themes in the Advent season and how we can act upon God’s call in our lives without delay. You’ll also get to hear others reflect on these same ideas in this year’s Advent Devotional.
Advent is a time of both celebration and reflection. It is a time of waiting and of expectancy. It’s a time of return to what we hold most valuable. This year’s Advent Devotional is meant to help us think about what it is that God is calling us to pay attention to and to do while we’re waiting. We hope the reflections of our congregation and staff help you see how the Bible and our daily living are always intertwined. I think you’ll find this resource be wonderful gift during this Advent season.
This Advent, our theme is, “What Can’t Wait,” acknowledging that in this this active waiting period, there are many things that cannot wait. Our Advent calendar will help us participate in bringing about more warmth, gratitude, generosity, and community while we wait for the day they each are fully realized for all people in Christ’s second coming. Each day’s activity is just a suggestion and may spark another idea in you, it may not be possible to do every day’s activity, or you may have to switch which days you do what. However you can use the calendar, we hope it will inspire and encourage us all as a community of individuals and families to spread the Good News of Christ’s coming in ways big and small every day as we prepare to celebrate Jesus’ first coming and work towards his second.
WORSHIP DURING ADVENT
ADVENT WEEK 1
Liberation: Rachel Preaching
ADVENT WEEK 2
Changing Direction: Matt Preaching
ADVENT WEEK 3
Imagination: Rachel Preaching
ADVENT WEEK 4
Awakening: Matt Preaching
LONGEST NIGHT SERVICE
Friday, December 19 at 6:30pm
Also known as a “Blue Christmas Service,” this service acknowledges that for many, the holidays can be a difficult season. For some, 2019 has been filled with darkness. They may have lost a loved one and are still coping with that death. Or maybe they received a diagnosis that is raising questions about the quality of their health going forward. Some others might be dealing with a divorce or shattered relationship or are concerned about their job situation or are just having financial problems. With Christmas and New Year centered on family get-togethers, it can be a tough time for those who have lost loved ones – especially recently – or are dealing with personal struggles to find joy during the holiday season. The service will be different from Sunday morning and include times of silence, scripture readings, and prayer. The music will be a little bit more reflective and quiet. Worshipers will be offered a chance to light “specific candles for specific needs” from the advent candle and the attenders can also be anointed. No one should feel alone in this season, even in their struggles. We hope you will join us.
CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICES
Thursday December 24
5:30PM FAMILY SERVICE – A Service for children and their families. It will be simple and lovely and unpredictable, with our own children encountering the story themselves.
7:30PM A SERVICE OF LESSONS & CAROLS – Rachel Preaching. For those who like hearing the whole story again, singing the traditional carols of the season, and lighting candles in the darkness of Silent Night.
11:00PM A SERVICE OF COMMUNION – Matt Preaching. For those who like the quiet of the night, the closeness that communion brings, the singing of songs in the darkened Sanctuary with candles glowing.