Advent and Christmas Worship Schedule

All are welcome! Bring your family, friends, and guests to celebrate the birth of Jesus.

Intergenerational Advent Wreath Making
Sunday, December 2, after worship, 11:15 AM-noon
Kids and adults gather together to make Advent wreaths — a traditional way of counting down to Christmas.

Christmas Program
Sunday, December 16, 10 AM
Our Sunday School children will continue the beloved tradition of retelling the story of Jesus’ birth with singing and a lively sketch during the 10 AM Worship Service.

Stories & Songs of Christmas
Sunday, December 23, 10 AM
Start your Christmas week with us as we sing and read through the classic stories and hymns of Christmas!

Christmas Eve Candlelight Service (with Communion)
Monday, December 24, 4:30 PM
We gather together to hear the story of Christ’s birth.

 

 

Advent at Grace Lutheran Church

What is Advent?

The church’s celebration of Advent counts down the four Sundays before Christmas. “Advent” comes from a Latin word meaning “arrival” — the arrival of Christ. We know many different ways of getting ready for Christmas: picking out a tree, decorating the house, buying and wrapping gifts, making travel plans to see family. But Advent asks us to “get ready” for Christmas in another way: to prepare ourselves for the arrival of Jesus. Are we ready to receive a God who puts on flesh, who sees our suffering and becomes one with us, who trusts the divine into the care of a teenage girl and her fiancé, whose arrival in our world was not recognized by the supremely religious or the politically powerful but by humble shepherds out in dirty fields and pagan astrologers who followed a star?

The most honest answer to this question should probably be no. We are never perfectly “ready” to receive the mystery of God born among us. Yet every year we celebrate it again and again. We remember that Christ comes to us in many ways: in the flesh in Bethlehem over two thousand years ago; every day in our hearts, comforting and transforming us; in the needy and poor around us; and in Christ’s future glory at the end of the age, when all the hate and pain of this world will be overturned and creation will be made new.

Advent is a time when we try (and admit that we can never finish trying!) to be ready for the mystery of the incarnation, the miracle of Immanuel — God-with-us.

 

What’s with the colors?

We know our Christmas colors, of course — red and green. But the church, during Advent, puts on different colors: purple, pink, and blue. Using these colors dates back at least six hundred years! Because Advent was originally thought of as another Lent — a time of waiting and preparation — the purple of Lent was first used to mark Advent as well. Many churches still use purple. Within the past hundred years, blue has also become a common color for Advent. It distinguishes the season from Lent, while still using a royal color to symbolize our waiting and preparation for the coming of a King. Blue also is the color most often associated with Mary the mother of Jesus.

Some churches add pink on the third Sunday of Advent. For church traditions where Advent was a particularly solemn and self-reflective time, the pink colors and candles (sometimes called “rose”) were a visible reminder that Christmas was also a joyful time to be celebrated.

 

What’s an Advent wreath for?

An Advent wreath helps us “count down” to Christmas by lighting a new candle each Sunday of Advent. On the first Sunday, one candle is lit; on the second Sunday of Advent, the first candle is lit and then a second candle is also; and so on. Many churches also have a candle in the center of the wreath, to be lit on Christmas Day.

At our Advent wreath-making event, we invite everyone and every family to work together to make their own wreath to take home. Some choose to light their Advent wreath for a few minutes over breakfast or dinner, or at some other time during the day when there is time to pause, think, and pray.

Mobile Menders at July and August Community Dinner

❖ Do you have a pair of jeans that need hemming?
❖ Is a button missing on a pair of shorts?
❖ Is there a rip in your favorite shirt?

The Mobile Menders will be here on Saturday July 28th and Saturday August 25th from 4pm to 6:30pm, joining us for our community dinner. They are a group of volunteer sewers and menders that do basic clothing repair. If
you have something that needs fixing, bring the clean item(s) to Grace Center and they’ll see what can be done!

Church Rummage Sale

GarageSaleTreasuresOur church rummage sale is coming up!

Thursday July 19 – Saturday July 21
8am to 5pm each day
Grace Center Gym

Bring treasures and other donations on Sunday July 8 or 15. Donations also accepted July 17 and 18 from 8am to 7:30pm at 6th St door #2 (green awning). No clothes or furniture, please.

For more information or to sign up to help, please contact Kathy Schadendorf.

Racial Justice Conversations start June 10

Our Racial Justice Workgroup began with a small group of committed members attending a local conference on Race and Privilege in 2016. From there we continued to discuss how we understand race, privilege, and justice, and began to plan further educational opportunities for ourselves and for our whole congregation.

The Racial Justice Workgroup invites you to a monthly summer conversation series. Throughout the summer, we will explore three questions:

1. What is the history of race and racial justice?

2. How does that history affect us now?

3. How can we apply what we learn to love our neighbors better?

We will gather after worship during fellowship time, 11:15am-noon. Each event will include suggested readings or videos beforehand, and will have conversations and activities to help us engage with these ideas.

Come and learn with us!

 

June 10 Resources

Video: RACE: Are We So Different? produced by The American Anthropological Association (AAA) video introduction. Learn about RACE and unlearning racism: www.understandingRACE.org

Reading: “A Revealing Timeline of Race Relations In the U.S.” Oprah.com, www.oprah.com/inspiration/timeline-of-race-relations-in-america.

Video: What is Privilege? from Buzzfeed

Article: “A History: The Construction of Race and Racism” Dismantling Racism Project Western States Center from www.westernstatescenter.org.

 

Further Reading

Smith, V Chapman. “American Anti-Slavery and Civil Rights Timeline.” Ushistory.org, Independence Hall Association, www.ushistory.org/more/timeline.htm.