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Joy is often a companion to many other emotions. We can feel joy in addition to feeling many other things at once: grief, anticipation, anxiety, excitement, disappointment, exhaustion. Perhaps many of us live with the myth that joy is not something we deserve—or that it is wholly out of reach. But our joy is rooted in the truth that we belong to God. Can you tether yourself to that deep truth? You deserve to feel joy—fully. The world needs your joy, even if you are weary. Our joy is better when it is shared. And so, this Advent, we will hold space for our weariness and our joy. We will seek a “thrill of hope” in our hurting world. We will welcome joy—even and especially if, like the prophet Isaiah, we cry out for comfort (Isaiah 40:1). In this weary world, may we find many ways to rejoice. ADVENT DEVOTIONAL: DOWNLOAD PDF OR PICK-UP PRINTED COPY Our Advent devotional is designed to help you practice joy in a weary world. Each week offers art, reflections, poetry, and hymns. Journey through these pages at your own pace. May each week offer you rhythms for rejoicing-through acknowledging your weariness, finding joy in connection, allowing yourself to be amazed, singing stories of hope, making room, rooting yourself in ritual, and remembering your belovedness. DECEMBER 3: FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT | CHILDREN’S PAGEANT + HOLY COMMUNION Luke 1:1-23 | Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19 | We acknowledge our weariness. As Advent begins, we start by acknowledging the weariness, grief, rage, and hopelessness we carry—and we also affirm that we are made for joy. Joy is designed to live in a full house of other emotions. DECEMBER 10: SECOND SUNDAY OF ADVENT | SPECIAL MUSICAL PRESENTATION BY OUR CHANCEL CHOIR Luke 1:24-45 | Isaiah 40:1-11 | We find joy in connection. In community, our joy expands. We experience joy through feeling a deep connection to ourselves, our loved ones, to God, to nature, and to the whole cosmos that surrounds us. DECEMBER 17: THIRD SUNDAY OF ADVENT Luke 1:57-66 | Psalm 126 | We allow ourselves to be amazed. Amazement is a balm for the weary. How often do you allow yourself to be amazed? Wonder is all around us—can we recognize it? Can we live in a way that allows amazement and wonder to surprise us often? DECEMBER 17: LONGEST NIGHT – A SERVICE FOR THE WEARY | 4:00 pm | SANCTUARY CHANCEL If you have experienced personal loss or are weary of all the conflict in the world around us, the joy of the holiday season can often feel elusive and out of reach. Our longest night service is designed to provide space for prayer, reflection, and remembrance amidst the lights and holiday hustle and bustle. Bring your grief. Bring your weariness. Bring your fatigue and allow yourself a quiet space to reflect and draw near to God. We hope that this worship can be a gift, providing a space of calm, quiet, and healing. We will have a time of fellowship with refreshments following the service. DECEMBER 24: FOURTH SUNDAY OF ADVENT | COMBINED SERVICE AT 10:30 AM Luke 1:46-55 | Luke 1:67-80 | We sing stories of hope. As we prepare to celebrate Christ’s birth, may we sing stories of hope, justice, and joy. DECEMBER 24: CHRISTMAS EVE | 4:00 PM – FAMILY SERVICE | 7:00 PM – TRADITIONAL CHRISTMAS EVE Luke 2:1-20 | We make room. While there was no place for them in the guest room, God makes a place anyway. God draws the circle wider as shepherds and unexpected guests arrive. This Christmas, let us also make room—for strangers and neighbors alike. For this is good news of great joy for all people. DECEMBER 31: FIRST SUNDAY AFTER CHRISTMAS | COMBINED SERVICE AT 10:30 AM Luke 2:21-38 | We root ourselves in ritual. How do our sacred rituals root us and help us live into new chapters with courage? JANUARY 7: BAPTISM OF THE LORD SUNDAY Luke 3:21-22 | We trust our belovedness. We began our series by acknowledging our weariness and we conclude with trusting our belovedness; ultimately, our joy is rooted in the fact that we belong to God. And so, this Advent, we will hold space for our weariness and our joy. We will seek a “thrill of hope” in our hurting world. We will welcome joy—even and especially if, like the prophet Isaiah, we cry out for comfort (Isaiah 40:1). In this weary world, may we find many ways to rejoice.

Advent Devotional

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Advent Sermon Series

5th Sunday after Pentecost (June 23, 2024)
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Advent Worship Services

DECEMBER 3

  9:00 AM | TRADITIONAL WORSHIP 

11:20 AM | ELEVEN20 COFFEEHOUSE WORSHIP

 

DECEMBER 10

  9:00 AM | TRADITIONAL WORSHIP 

11:20 AM | ELEVEN20 COFFEEHOUSE WORSHIP

 

DECEMBER 17:

  9:00 AM | TRADITIONAL WORSHIP 

11:20 AM | ELEVEN20 COFFEEHOUSE WORSHIP

  4:00 PM | LONGEST NIGHT- A SERVICE FOR THE WEARY


DECEMBER 24:

10:30 AM | COMBINED SERVICE

  4:00 PM | FAMILY SERVICE 

  7:00 PM | CANDLELIGHT CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICE 

Advent Offering

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This year's Advent Offering will benefit UMCOR's International Disaster Relief work and Cunningham Children's Home in Urbana.

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