I hope you've had a good couple of weeks and thanks to John Bullas for his leadership while I've been away. We had a brief, but good trip to Bellingham to see my family. We came back 2 weeks ago to quarantine - today is the last day!! (yes, I'm counting) I'm looking forward to being able to go to the grocery store and the beach!
Advent Worship Theme:
This Sunday we will begin the season of Advent and begin preparing our hearts and minds for Jesus' birth. "Waiting in the Darkness" seems like an appropriate theme for this year. While the darkness is all around is in a variety of ways, the light of Advent accompanies us and increases as we move toward Christmas. We will explore these themes as we make ourselves ready for the gift of Jesus' birth.
Getting into the Season:
The worship committee had hoped to invite the congregation to be in the sanctuary for mid-week Eucharist during Advent, but with COVID restrictions, it's just not safe or possible. So as we enter another season of the church year, we still do not have the sights, smells, and sounds of the church at Advent to orient ourselves to the season. While this is disappointing to all of us, there are things we can do, intentional things, to connect with this season.
One thing we can do is to make our own Advent wreath at home. As with most things in the church, the wreath doesn't have to look a particular way to be effective at bringing us deeper into our own practice of faith. Finding ways of engaging the season is more important than doing them perfectly. Here are some examples of home Advent wreaths. I'll be looking around my house and yard for things to complete my wreath (sets are also available for purchase online).
We haven't done much in the way of evening programming because many don't like to drive at night, but with zoom we can try something new, like an evening
Theology Pub. Thursdays at 7-8:30pm during Advent (Dec 3, 10, 17) bring your beverage of choice and log into zoom for about an hour conversation on a topic related to Advent. 1 or 2 days before you'll have an email in your inbox with about a page of notes on the topic to get us thinking before we get on the call. We will have 3 Thursdays with the following topics: Jesus' birth & the second coming; Preparing the way during COVID; what is impossible and what is possible with God?
Here is the Theology Pub Zoom invite - the link works for all 3 gatherings:
Advent/Christmas Worship Services
Advent services: Nov 29, Dec 6, Dec 13, Dec 20 at 10am
Blue Christmas: December 18 at 4pm
. Later that evening the Ecumenical Society will host a zoom carolling event
. Some might want to participate in Blue Christmas, which offers a space to acknowledge the difficult things we bring to this season, then have something to eat and join in the carolling at 7pm. For the carolling zoom link, go to gabriolaecumenical.com
Christmas Eve: Lessons & Carols at 7pm, Dec 24
Christmas Morning: December 25 at 10am, similar to Sunday morning.
First Sunday after Christmas: Linda St. Clair will be presiding.
Second Sunday after Christmas: Lay led service.