Happy Thanksgiving! I hope that you will be able to spend this holiday time in a way that is special to you and allowed you to express your gratitude for all the blessings in your life. It is a quick pivot this year, though, with the first Sunday of Advent coming on the Sunday after Thanksgiving! So this Sunday, we will begin our observance of Advent with some special opportunities.

First, we will be worshipping this Sunday in a combined service at 10 a.m. in Fellowship Hall, with elements of both traditional worship and the Holy Ground contemporary service. If you haven’t yet experienced the Holy Ground service, this is a great opportunity to sample some of the key elements.

Following the worship service, we will have our Hanging of the Greens celebration, which includes several different opportunities for you to choose from. First, you can help decorate the church for Advent and Christmas, as in literally hanging the greens!

Second, there will be Christmas cookie decorating at tables in Fellowship Hall. And third, there will be craft activities in which you can take part. So there is an opportunity for people of all ages and abilities to participate.  In addition, there will be soup and chili provided for lunch together, and you are invited to bring a salad, bread or a dessert to add to that. However, you are welcome to come participate regardless of whether you bring anything.

The word “Advent” literally means “coming” or “arriving.”  So any “advent” is not about something that is still off in the future; it is about something that is already in motion, already beginning to happen. In Christianity in general, that is about anticipating the coming of Christ, both at his birth and at the end of time.

But for us it is also the arriving of a special season of community and beauty, of love and of hope. I look forward to sharing this Advent season with you, and hope to see you on Sunday!

Grace and peace,