The Gift of
ADVENT & CHRISTMAS 2023
Advent is often a season filled with anxiety around finding the perfect Christmas gift. We yearn to make our friends and family feel loved with material purchases; however, we overlook the greatest gift of all…our very presence.
Our spiritual ancestors shared this anxiety; however, it concentrated on survival amid political and unjust occupation.
Throughout our Scriptures, visionaries proclaim, "The Holy Living One is with you." Emmanuel, God with us. And like a shepherd who never leaves the flock, we are held close. So, so close.
This Advent season, we are invited to be the gift. A gift of our simple presence for our loved ones, our communities, and those who need it most.
Let us enter these stories with gentleness, hope, peace, joy, and love for our God, who humbled God's self and gave us the precious gift of all.
NOVEMBER 29, DECEMBER 6, 13, 20 at 6:30 PM
Take a pause each Wednesday evening in Advent at 6:30 PM for a quiet and contemplative vespers service featuring a new liturgy from Holden Village called Bless This Night.
From the authors:
This service generally follows a traditional vespers service format with one important and intentional difference. A traditional vespers service focuses on themes of light overcoming darkness. We sought to create an evening service that celebrates darkness and does not create a binary opposition between light and dark. While we acknowledge that these metaphors are found throughout the Bible, we also recognize that these associations have been implicitly and explicitly used to cause harm, especially for people and communities of color. We also believe that moving beyond oppositional binaries helps us recognize and celebrate the diversity of God’s creation.
Thus, this service seeks to honor twilight, dusk, night, and darkness as times of blessing and renewal in our lives. The service also has themes of creation and justice, and recognizes all bodies as holy.
SUNDAYS AT 9 AM
WEDNESDAYS AT 7:15 PM
To accompany the worship series, everyone is invited to read Right Here, Right Now: The Practice of Christian Mindfulness by Amy G. Oden. The book will be discussed on Sunday mornings at 9 AM and Wednesdays following worship (about 7:15 PM). A limited number of copies are available from David Greenlee for $13 .
THURS, DECEMBER 21 AT 6:30 PM
For some, Christmas brings sadness instead of joy– a season of darkness arising because of grief, depression, isolation, trauma, and physical or mental illness. “The Longest Night” is a worship service for those touched by the darkness this year.
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 24 AT 10 AM, 4 PM, AND 7 PM
BEING PRESENT WITH LIGHT
Celebrate the birth of the Savior with familiar carols, communion, and Silent Night by candlelight. The 4 PM service is especially for families with children, and the 7 PM service will feature the Trinity Singers, Trinity Ringers, and special guest musicians, Quartet Evolution.
Christmas Day Gathering
MONDAY, DECEMBER 25 AT 10 AM
Gather together as the people of Christ and celebrate the newborn Savior in community with one another. This will be a time of fellowship, food, prayer, and reflection. Bring a breakfast casserole or a coffee cake to share as we gather for fellowship on Christmas Day.
Sunday after Christmas
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 31 AT 10 AM
BEING PRESENT WITH ASSURANCE
The overwhelming message of the Christmas story is the assurance that we, too, are children of the Holy One. In this, our very presence is a gift if we will only allow the Spirit to move in and through us. Every day of our ordinary lives, we can show up — be present — and proclaim the assurance of hope, peace, joy, and love to those who need it most.