Special Reminders: Hanging of the Greens, Saturday, November 29 from 9AM. Soup & bread at noon. Everyone invited to help us decorate the church for the holidays.
Sermon Title for November 30, 2014 (First Sunday of Advent): A Way Made Ready
Scripture: Mark 1:1-8
Worship Focus: John the Baptist is calling out to all who will hear, “The Lord is coming. Let’s get ready. The Lord is on the way.” God’s coming with the fullness of salvation. God’s coming in the form of the promised Christ, the Son of God in whom all the promises of God are, “Yes!” Everything that would be life for us, healing for us, restoration for us, redemption and forgiveness for us, God is creating. “Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.” Let’s get ready to receive the gift of Christ’s coming.
Advent is a season of four weeks including four Sundays. The word “Advent” means “coming.” The season proclaims the comings of the Christ—whose birth we prepare to celebrate once again, who comes continually in Word and Spirit, and whose return in final victory we anticipate. Each year Advent calls the community of faith to prepare for these comings; historically, the season was marked by fasts for preparation. We celebrate this season with the use of various visuals: an Advent wreath with four candles for the four Sundays, and a central white Christ candle lighted on Christmas Eve. Blue paraments are used. Blue is symbolic of royalty and is used during this season as the church anticipates the coming of its King.
Orientation/Membership Class Offered Again
Pastor Dan will be offering another class for those who were unable to attend the orientation/membership classes given recently. The session will last about an hour and take place on Tuesday, December 2 at 7:30PM in the pastor’s office. This is a class for those who want to know more about United Methodism, its beliefs and overview of Stanwood UMC. It is also an opportunity for those who desire to explore church membership. Please let Pastor Dan know if you want to participate in this class at 629-9555.
Pastor Dan’s Holiday Open House
Pastor Dan invites everyone to stop by the parsonage for food, drink and fellowship at his annual Open House scheduled for Saturday, December 13 from 1-3PM. The address is 9809 271st Street NW, just a few blocks east of the church.
It’s OK to Be Extravagant!
This Advent consider the question: “Why you shouldn’t simplify Christmas?” There are plenty of reasons why we should trim down and simplify our Christmas celebrations. But there are some ways in which it’s OK to be extravagant—not extravagant on spending thousands of dollars on decorations, gifts and entertaining, but rather, extravagant with your time—perhaps giving a few hours from your busy schedule to help with a food drive, or give an extra gift to someone in need, or some kindness to a neighbor who is alone this holiday. Extravagance may even mean giving yourself a little more time to savor the day.
The Christmas season is an amazing time to celebrate as we gather with family and friends and those we love. What about those who are homeless? How can they celebrate? This year during the season of advent, we are going to be having a drive for items needed for the Interfaith Family Shelter, which ministers to homeless families. As a church, we’ve been supporting it, preparing “Welcoming Boxes,” for residents as they enter the shelter, and “Best Wishes,” boxes when they leave and move on into housing situations. What an amazing ministry— and we are a participant in it!
Each week we will highlight items needed; a new one each Sunday through December 21. Next Sunday, we ask you to bring Towel Sets: 2 bath towels, 2 wash cloths, 2 hand towels. Let’s be extravagant this Christmas in helping these families in need!
Dates of Note
December 9 Deadline for unwrapped gifts for Christmas Party (receptacle in the narthex)
December 12 Our annual Christmas Party, 5:30PM
December 13 Open House at Pastor Dan’s from 1-3PM
December 14 Musicale at 9:00AM Service
December 21 Stanwood/Camano Chorale Here, 3PM
December 21 Blue Christmas Service at 7PM
December 24 Candlelight Services at 5:30 and 9PM
December 25 Christmas