Preparing the Way for Jesus (Advent 2018)

Posted by on Dec 1, 2018 in EventAnnouncement, Worship & Prayer | 0 comments

Christmas Decs 2014 Advent Banner _IMG_1286The season of Advent is a gift from God. It’s a special time of the year when families, friends, and churches across dominations join together to celebrate the incarnation… the wonder that somehow God became human and walked this earth in the Person of Jesus.

And yet, sometimes we get so bogged down in the parties, shopping and “things we have to do” that we miss the wonder.

And so this year we offer an opportunity to Slow Down. Plug into the activities that will help you connect with God in this season of Wonder.Sanctuary Candelight _fbSR
We’re all busy; even at PUMC we will be busy with a lot of activities this Advent Season. We offer different activities because God speaks to each of us in a way meant just for us. But slowing down doesn’t mean dropping out. Slow down and look for Christ! Our events are places where you might find Christ. Not everything is tuned for everyone. Pray and consider where God may be leading you to spend your precious time this season.
The “Drop Down” boxes below are like gifts. Open the ones which seem to have your name on it. Dig in and enjoy the wonder of seeing Jesus this Christmas season.

===== WEEK 1 =====


During our 9:30 and 11:00 worship services on this first Sunday in Advent, we will light the first candle in our Advent Wreath: The candle of Hope.


The kids from our preschool (Our Father’s House) will present their Christmas Pageant in the sanctuary at 10:00. All are welcome! Come out to enjoy the innocent enthusiasm of our 2-4 year olds.


===== WEEK 2 =====


During our 9:30 and 11:00 worship services on this second Sunday in Advent, we will light the 2nd candle in our Advent Wreath: The candle of Love.


At 4:00 PM the Gloucester County Children’s Choir will present their winter concert in our sanctuary.


At 6:00 PM we’ll have a covered dish dinner, and at 7:30 the College / Community Chorus of Rowan College at Gloucester County (RCGC) will hold a concert of songs and carols. 


At 5:15 The “Not Ready for Prime Time Singers” will meet for dinner and then visit our shut ins. Celebrate the arrival of Christ by sharing with those who are often forgotten.


===== WEEK 3 =====


During our 9:30 and 11:00 worship services on this third Sunday in Advent, we will light the 3rd candle in our Advent Wreath: Joy


During the worship service our Sunday Schools will  present their “white gift” boxes to support the “love your neighbor” fund. 


In between the two services, the United Methodist Women will hold one of their famous Cookie Walks!  Make a donation to purchase a cont


At 4:15 our choirs will present our annual Christmas Cantata. This year’s cantata is entitled “Jesus No Other Name.” At the Name of Jesus, every knee shall bow…” Celebrate and worship the Name of our King!  


At 7:00 PM a service will be held in the sanctuary for those who have lost loved ones during the past year. More Info



===== WEEK 4 =====


We will hold ONE service, at 10:15.  On this fourth Sunday in Advent, we will light the 4th candle in our Advent Wreath: Peace And, Rev. Jim Hughes will lead the service with a first person musical dramatization.


We will hold two worship services on Christmas Eve: More Info

  • 4:00 PM- Geared to families with young children.
  • 7:30 PM – Traditional candlelighting service. (Opens with “Songs of the Season” at 7:00 PM


There are Four Weeks in the Advent Season, and then the first Sunday after Christmas begins the Epiphany season.

  1. Week 1: Sunday Dec.  2 through Saturday Dec. 8
  2. Week 2: Sunday Dec. 9 through Saturday Dec. 15
  3. Week 3: Sunday Dec. 16 through Saturday Dec. 22
  4. Week 4: Sunday Dec. 23 through Christmas Day
On Sunday December 23 AND on December 30, we will have ONE service (at 10:15).

Our usual 9:30 / 11:00 schedule will resume on January 6.

Although not officially part of Advent, on the evening of Monday December 31, the Sanctuary will be open for silent communion between 6-8PM.  Stop by, spend some quiet time in prayer, reflect on the past year, and look towards the year to come.


Prepare by Giving

The season of advent is marked by music, worship, and celebration.  But the love we share for eachother can also be expressed by giving.  So throughout the Advent Season we prepare our hearts for the arrival of the Christ by opening our hands to helping those who are in need…


Operation Christmas Child

This annual effort (organized by Samaritan’s Purse), collects items for children and packages them in shoeboxes.  Things like toys, school supplies, and toiletries are collected and then packed into decorated shoeboxes.  The boxes are given to needy children around the world.  Although part of Christmas and Advent, we’ve already completed our collection.  The boxes (93 of them) were on display during our Generosity Sunday, on November 11.


Star Tree

The Star Tree is decorated with “star” cutouts bearing the name and age of a child.  Purchase the suggested gift and leave it under the tree by the December 9. 

If you are in need, your family at PUMC would love to help make your Christmas a bit brighter.  Just contact the church office (gifts are being distributed on December 15).



White Gift Sunday 

Our White Gift Sunday isn’t just for kids; everyone can help.  During the weeks leading into White Gift Sunday, white coin boxes are distributed, and we fill them with change during the following weeks.  On White Gift Sunday, we replicate the manger scene and the boxes are given to the “baby Jesus” (symbolizing the gifts of Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh). 


Blood Donation

OK, this is actually AFTER the Advent season, but we’ll host a Red Cross blood drive in our church on Friday January 25 (between 2:00 and 7:00 PM).  Go to: to schedule an appointment (enter in 08071 as the zip code and scroll down to January 25).

Confused about “churchy” terms like “Advent”, “Epiphany”, and “Lent?”  Do you know what an “Advent Wreath” is?  Open the below box to learn more about these seasonal traditions of the church…

Advent Information

How is Advent Like Lent?

In both seasons, we are called to prepare. Listen to some thoughts from Pastor Jim (given before his sermon of 12/6/15, entitled: “How Many Shopping Days are Left?”)….



What is Advent? What’s an Advent Wreath?

AdventWreath-IMG_3880-150x150Advent is celebrated during the four Sundays preceding Christmas. One of the ways we mark each Sunday in advent is with the lighting of a candle on our Advent Wreath. Each candle represents a different attribute (or “fruit”) of our relationship with God. The center candle is lit during our Christmas Eve service; it represents that Christ is among us.


Check out the following video from “Chuck Knows Church”…



What Happens After Advent?

Sundays throughout the Christian Calendar have names that follow the season. For example, the four Sundays before Christmas are called “First Sunday in Advent,” “Second Sunday in Advent,” etc. But what happens when you have Christmas Day- usually in the middle of the week- and then you come back to church the next Sunday? That Sunday has its own special name: “First Sunday after Christmas Day” (not really imaginative…).


The next Sunday (the first one in January) is called “Epiphany Sunday.Click Here for more info. For the next month or so our Sundays will be called the “__Sunday after the Epiphany“.


The season of Lent begins 40 weekdays before Easter Sunday (for some reason, Sundays aren’t included in this 40 day count).  That first day of Lent is Ash Wednesday.  In 2019, Ash Wednesday falls on March 6,  and  Easter is on April 21. 

And so, on Sunday March 10 we’ll switch from “__Sunday after the Epiphany” to “__Sunday in Lent“.  After that you get into Easter and Pentecost… but we’ll talk about that later.


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