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Advent 2018

 

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light. – Isaiah 9:2

As the days get darker, our church is getting brighter.  Come to the United Church of Two Harbors to celebrate this joyous season!

On the Sundays of Advent during worship we will explore the meaning of Hope, Peace, Love and Joy.

 

Hanging of the Greens – Stay after worship on Sunday, December 2nd to help finish decorating our sanctuary. The tree will be up, but will need to be trimmed.

Dove Offering – Donate in memory or honor of a loved one and we will place a dove on our Christmas tree.  These names will be printed in our Christmas Eve and Christmas bulletins.

 

Hat and Mitten Tree – You’ll find a second tree in our sanctuary this Advent for hats, mittens, gloves and socks for needy area folks.  Please donate your handmade or store bought items to decorate this tree.   

Community Advent Service – The community of churches will be gathering for worship and song at Bethlehem Lutheran Church on Sunday, December 2nd at 7 p.m. Bring some bars to share afterwards.

 

Christmas Lunch and Cookie Sale – The United Church Women will be offering holiday cookies to purchase as well as lunch from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday, December 7th.  A plate of cookies is $7, lunch is also $7.

 

Sunday, December 16th our Children will have a special presentation at the 10:30 am worship service so come and join them in song, and joyous celebration.

 

Sunday, December 23rd at 5 p.m. we will be hosting a Christmas Tableaux, a reverent still life depiction of a nativity scene. If you are interested in being a part of this community worship experience, please contact Katya Gordon at 834-2432.

Early Christmas Eve Service – December 24, 3 p.m. – A family friendly service.

 

Late Christmas Eve Service – December 24, 10 p.m. – Traditional service of Lessons and Carols and Candle-Lighting.

Advent

Dear Friends~

Do you have a secret place where you hide Christmas presents in the months leading up to the Christmas celebration? Are there family members who know where that space is, but won’t peek because they want the delicious surprise when they unwrap the gift? Maybe there are children around who have no idea about this special place and are amazed when gifts appear that they knew nothing about.

Advent feels like a little bit of both of those experiences to me. A time of expectant waiting, knowing fully the amazing gift God is about to deliver and yet, at the same time, a period of slowing down to savor the season. It’s an opportunity to set aside special moments to fully experience the joy and the miracle of Christmas, to focus on Christ’s birth in the midst of the chaos that covers our holiday to-do lists.

Starting four Sundays before Christmas, Advent is a chance to carve out time to commemorate the coming of Christ into the world. It’s embracing a Psalm 46:10 lifestyle for a few weeks each year: “Be still and know I am God.” Be still. Wait. Savor. Gather. Invite.

That’s what the Christmas season should be about, isn’t it? Instead of sprinting toward Christmas morning, Advent invites us to breathe deeply and appreciate the anticipation of Christ’s birth. But how do we do it? How do you add just one more thing to our already overwhelmed and overbooked holiday schedules?

What we must realize is that it’s not about adding one “more” thing—Advent is about making space for the best thing, so our hearts have room for Jesus as Christmas arrives. Think about it—are you hurried, hustling, and harried? Or are you slowing down, focusing on God more than gifts, and asking God to show you how to shine a light during the season? If you lean toward the first description (like I usually do at this time of year), what are some ways you—and your family—might benefit from a shift in focus over the next few weeks?

I invite you to slow down and celebrate Advent by perhaps reading a daily devotion as we move toward Christmas. Maybe you have an Advent calendar you haven’t set up in a long time and this is the year you dust it off and put it out, or better yet, how about setting up an advent wreath and read a devotional as you light the candles of hope, peace, joy and love.

This Advent, may you celebrate with expectant hearts, savoring the season as we look forward with excitement to receiving the greatest gift God’s children have ever received.

 

Pastor Paula