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Heaven & Earth: Meanwhile

“‘In those days, after that suffering, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.’ Then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in clouds’ with great power and glory.” (Mark 13:24-26, NRSVue)

The next four Sundays, including Christmas Eve, are part of the Advent season in the Christian year, where we prepare for the birth of our Savior. Watchfulness and waiting are common themes over the next four Sundays. Our worship services take on an element of anticipation and newness as we add the Advent Wreath Lighting, lighting a new candle each week based on the themes of hope, peace, joy, and love.

This Sunday, December 3rd, during our regular morning worship services, we’ll celebrate the sacrament of Holy Communion. In our two traditional worship services, we’ll explore the importance of living in the meantime between now and Jesus’ anticipated coming on Christmas Day. Americans are not good at patience; however, much can happen during our waiting. Then, on Sunday evening, we have the delightful opportunity for our children to lead us in a presentation highlighting their understanding of the birth of Jesus. Their program begins in the sanctuary at 6:00 p.m. You won’t want to miss it!

The following Sunday, December 10th, we’ll have the regular lineup of Sunday morning activities—8:15 a.m. traditional worship, 9:00 a.m. Family Worship, 9:45 a.m. Sunday School, and 11:00 a.m. traditional worship; however, at 11:00 a.m., our Adult Choir presents its Christmas Cantata with instrumental orchestration. The Choir always does a fabulous job, and I look forward to their presentation. Embrace Alabama’s Kids (formerly the United Methodist Children’s Home) will make a special presentation, thanking us for supporting their ministry. This recognition is extra special because, for the coming year, we’ll host “Windy,” the original bell that rang over the Selma campus of the Children’s Home!

Sunday, December 17th, is Joy Sunday, also known as Gaudete Sunday (pronounced Gow-DAY-TAY). We invite you to wear something pink or rose-colored that day—colors that represent joy. Our Youth have something special for us that day, too. Again, you won’t want to miss it.

Christmas Eve will be a full day with our regular slate of Sunday morning activities. During the Sunday School hour, the children will celebrate Jesus’ birthday with a party. Then, at 5:30 p.m., we’ll gather for our traditional Candlelight Communion Service—an inspiring time of worship and reflection on the birth of Jesus. We’ll have a nursery for Newborns through Kindergarten.

I hope to see you at as many of these Advent activities as possible. And don’t forget to invite your friends! See you on Sunday!

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