Posts tagged Christmas
"O Come Let us Adore Him"

Sunday, December 30 at 10:00 a.m.

Merry Christmas! The light shines in the darkness and the darkness shall not overcome it. This is the promise and the hope of Christmas. Join us for worship this weekend at one service on Sunday morning at 10:00 a.m. as we continue the celebration of Christ’s birth. There will be Christmas carols, the continuation of the Christmas story and Holy Communion. Our professionally staffed nursery will be open during the service. There will be no Saturday service, Sunday School or Abiding Table this weekend.

Christ is Coming...Again!


I love Advent! It is my favorite season of the entire church year. It is a time of watching and waiting, preparing and hoping. Together, we cling to God’s promise that Christ will come again. Advent is the season in which we recognize that God will have the last word over the mess of creation and the muck of our lives. These four weeks before Christmas are filled with promise and hope for our futures. Advent is my most wonderful time of the year! 

During my pre-pastor and early-pastor days, I was an advent purest. I thought Christmas carols shouldn’t be sung until the Christmas Eve service, decorations should wait until as long as possible to be put up and that there should be a clear distinction between the four weeks of Advent and the 12 days of Christmas.

But then, something happened. I started looking around and realizing that we (the church) were missing out on a huge opportunity! Our culture was spending the whole month of December (and November and most of October, too) teaching people the meaning of Christmas - bargain shopping, snowmen, decorations, cookies, songs about jingle bells - and the church was relatively silent.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love a good cyber Monday sale like everyone else. Christmas cookies, jingle bells and Santa Claus are all part of my family’s celebrations, but they aren’t the meaning of Christmas. They aren’t why we celebrate.

I’ll confess that this year I started listening to Christmas music in mid-November. I still love Advent. I continue to cling to this season of promise and hope that assures us that God is not yet done with us or our world. Christ is coming…again! Thank goodness! It is abundantly clear that the world as it is today is not the world God would have it to be.

BUT, I also believe the church needs to reclaim its role of teaching about the meaning of Christmas. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it. This is a powerful and important message that the world needs to hear…now!

So, starting this week we’ll slip a Christmas carol or two into our worship. We’ll begin looking at not only the promises of Advent, but the promises of Christmas, too, through the eyes of people like Zechariah, Elizabeth and Mary.

Indeed, Christ is coming…again! The babe born in Bethlehem was the beginning, not the end, of God’s kingdom coming near. As people of faith, we live in the tension of this in-between time when Christ has come and when Christ will come again. We are Advent people. We are Christmas people. We are God’s people who trust that God has come, God is here and God is not yet done.

Sign Up for Bagels with Santa
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Saturday, December 8 from 9:00 - 11:00 a.m.

Ho! Ho! Ho! Santa is coming! Join us in Bailey Hall for a bagel breakfast. Santa will be making an appearance, and provide an opportunity for children to have their picture taken with him with a photographer onsite (FREE!). There will also be crafts for the children to work on. Don't miss this exciting event! Advanced sign up is requested.

We will also be holding a coat drive raffle! For EVERY new or gently-used coat you donate, you'll receive a raffle entry ticket to win some fun prizes! Coats will be donated to ECHO to help those in need this winter.

Special Worship Opportunities During the Season of Advent
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Advent is the season of promise and hope. It is not only a season of preparing for Christmas, but also a time of actively watching and waiting for Christ to come again. Throughout Advent we have special opportunities for worship as we pray, “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.”

Advent Jazz Vespers
Saturday, December 1 at 6:00 p.m.

The service will feature a Jazz Combo led by Craig Fraedrich, a Christmas market by Fair Trade Winds and a dessert reception in the narthex. See the event page for more details.


Blue Christmas Service
Wednesday, December 5 at 7:00 p.m.

We invite you to gather with us for a time of quiet reflection and stillness with God and each other. We realize that not everyone is filled with "holiday cheer" this time of year. Illness, death, the loss of a job, a change in family traditions and lots of other things can leave us struggling. This service recognizes what can be hard about the holidays and offers the opportunity for healing and hope. The service will be about 45 minutes and will include Holy Communion. Childcare will be provided in our professionally staffed nursery.


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Advent Evensong
Saturday, December 15 at 6:00 p.m.

The tradition of choral evensong dates back to the time of the Reformation. This service will feature chants based on the tune of "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel" and music by the Abiding Presence Adult Choir and Handbell ensembles.


Children's Christmas Program
Sunday, December 16 at 8:45 a.m.

The children and youth of Abiding Presence's music ensembles will bring the Christmas story to life through drama and song. All are welcome at this special worship service that includes the singing of Christmas carols, the Christmas drama and Holy Communion. See the event page for more details.


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Great and Wondrous Mystery Cantata
Saturday, December 22 at 6:00 p.m.

An original cantata inspired by the ancient Orthodox hymn of the same name featuring guest soloists with members of the Abiding Presence Chamber Orchestra.


Service of Lessons, Carols and Holy Communion
Sunday, Dec. 23 at 10:00 a.m.

(One Service Only this Sunday. There will be no Sunday School or Abiding Table.)