Happy New Year! I know it’s early on the secular calendar, but I’m right on time with the church calendar.
For football fans it is bowl season. For basketball fans it is the beginning of the regular schedule. For US citizens it is the time of leftovers after Thanksgiving, but for Christians who follow the liturgical year, the First Sunday of Advent (December 1 this year) is the first Sunday of the new church year. So Happy New Year!
The church year revolves around two major holy seasons — Christmas and Easter. Each has a season of preparation. For Christmas we have Advent. Advent is the preparatory season (four Sundays) when we open our hearts to the incarnation of God in Jesus — a poor child born to poor parents whose family would soon after his birth became migrants to Egypt.
We need a season to prepare because living into the truth of God’s surprising love born in such vulnerability takes some work. God comes to us in unexpected ways and we need hearts and minds open to the surprising grace and call of God upon our lives. Advent reminds us that we are on an adventure when we follow the One whose birth has been celebrated by wise ones for over two thousand years.
Anyway, Happy New Year!
Grace and peace,
P.S. Many thanks to those who made wreaths and “greened” the church for Christmas! Thanks to Jim and Cheryl Crysel for organizing this work as they have done for many years! Also, thank you to Barbara Windham for the Advent Wreath (she, too, has done this for many years)!
Worship and partial activity schedule for Advent and Christmas
December 1: Advent Event for young people! Eucharist at both services.
December 15: Congregational Meeting at beginning of 11:00 am service to receive budget and elect elders and deacons.
December 15: EfM Graduation for Jeanie and Walter Daves (and others in their class from Grace Calvary Episcopal Church).
December 15 to December 22: Family Promise families at NPC.
December 20: “Bless this House” recital with Jonathan Pilkington.
December 22: ONE SERVICE AT 11 A.M. – “Lessons and Carols” with Christmas Pageant at the end of the service followed by Lunch (provided by Jason Lemley and family) with a Birthday Party for Jesus.
December 24: Two Services: 5:15 pm — prelude music for Folk Service to begin at 6:00 pm; 10:30 pm — string prelude music for Traditional Service to begin at 11:00 pm.