HAPPY NEW YEAR
Some Christians, including those in the Wesleyan tradition, observe a series of holy days and seasons that together make up the “liturgical year.” Advent which begins four Sundays before Christmas Day is our “new year,” because it begins the story of God’s salvation with the prophecies and hopes of the Old Testament. We believe these prophecies and hopes were fulfilled in Jesus.
The liturgical year continues with Christmas (a day and season lasting . . . 12 days!), Epiphany (again both a day, January 6 and a season) Lent, Easter and Pentecost. By giving attention to at least the key holidays each year we are reminded of God’s loving acts of salvation from the sending of the prophets to get the Lord’s people ready for the Messiah through the sending of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost who equips God’s people to take the message to those who have not heard the good news yet.
This year we are beginning Advent a day early by gathering on November 30, 9am-12, to decorate the church for Advent/Christmas. There will be something for everyone to do no matter how old or young. We will begin with a “cup of” (coffee, tea, juice) and then children will go to decorate their area and do age appropriate activities relating to Advent/Christmas. Youth and adults will decorate as each person is able. When done (or almost) we will break for a brief time of worship in the sanctuary, lighting decorations and singing. Then to conclude the morning we will have a light and early lunch together. It will be a great way to begin anticipating the great day.
Throughout Advent/Christmas I will be preaching a sermon series on some of the original biblical characters of Christmas; Elizabeth, Joseph, Mary and others. Some excellent video monologues will be used along with preaching and the more typical acts of worship. Be sure to make time to be part of worship. It is a great time to invite friends who have not been here recently or who have never been here!
Rev. Dennis Otto