by Rev. Dale Azevedo, Sr. Minister          –          November 25, 2019

This Advent season, we are having a little fun and doing a little good…
and we need your help!

In case you don’t know, Advent is a season in the Christian year consisting of up to four weeks covering the four Sundays leading to Christmas. Advent derives its name from the Latin adventus, which means “coming.” The season proclaims the comings of the Christ–whose birth we prepare to celebrate once again, who comes continually in Word and Spirit, and whose return in final victory we anticipate. Each year Advent calls the Christian community of faith to prepare for these comings.*

So in order to prepare our sanctuary for Christ’s comings at Christmas, we are preparing a sacred place in our sanctuary! We are building a life-size creche that will be placed in the chancel. The creche will start off empty and each week we will be filling it up with our gifts. Some of these gifts we will get back when the season is over. Other gifts we will leave and donate to the Women’s Resource Center. Unless we want to leave the creche empty for Jesus, we need your help.

Each Sunday, beginning on December 1st (THIS Sunday!!), you are invited to bring different gifts to worship.

Dec. 1 – Stuffed animals. You don’t have to be a child to have a favorite stuffed animal. Many of us still hold onto them and have them kept around the house. Some of us still sleep with them!! So we are inviting people of all ages to bring one of your favorite stuffed animals to church to prepare the creche for Jesus! These animals will stay in our stable through the holiday and you can bring them back home after Christmas. (Of course, if you get lonely or your child sheds some tears, you can certainly pick it up earlier!)

Dec. 8 – Baby and new mother items. While the Wise Men brought gold, frankincense, and myrrh to the stable, you are invited to bring diapers, wipes, onesies, and toiletries. These items will be kept in our creche until Christmas and then donated to the Women’s Resource Center in Warren. All donations for the center must be new. What a precious gift to bring for the Christ children living in our area!

Dec. 15 – Our song! Today is our Family Christmas Spectacular! The choir and special guests have been putting in tremendous effort to make this day a beautiful celebration of Christ’s coming. Our gift that day is music! Additionally, if you forgot to bring baby items on the 8th, you can bring them by today! Come enjoy the Cantata and celebrate the gift of joyful noise.

Dec. 22 – Precious memories. Once again, people of all ages are invited to bring something precious or meaningful to you. These items can be pictures, heirlooms, messages, or any item from your home or life that brings you love. We will share these gifts with one another to help warm the creche for Jesus’ arrival. These will be available for you to take back after Christmas.

There are so many ways we can prepare our sanctuary and ourselves for Jesus’ coming. Come be a part of our Advent celebration all month long and share your gifts with Christ, our church, and the broader community!

Happy Advent!

* The United Methodist Book of Worship, p.238