2019 Advent Schedule Looks Forward to Jesus (12/2019)

Posted by on Nov 23, 2019 in EventAnnouncement, FEATURED, Worship & Prayer | 0 comments

Didn’t we just finish Vacation Bible School?!?  The time rushes by so quickly, and now we’re reaching the end of the year.  And, we’re reaching that time of the year when we anticipate the coming of the Christ.  Advent is an official part of the church calendar, but it’s also a time for us to re-focus our attention on the Wonderful gift of our eternal Counselor and Prince of Peace.

During this month, Pastor Jim will preach a sermon series on the Names of Christ:  Immanuel, Prince of Peace, Light of the World, The Word.   The Son of God was involved in the creation of the earth.  The Word became flesh. Our Good Shepherd sometimes appeared during the Old Testament days to give guidance and assurance.  Our Lamb came to earth and died to save us from our sins.  But in this Advent season, we look forward to His coming again; when He comes as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  And as we look forward to see Him, we discover that we can look within and see Him now. 

In the hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping and festivities, may we remember that the purpose of this season is Jesus; to look forward and to look within. This page presents the activities and opportunities that PUMC is offering during this special season to help us find Jesus.

Time flies by, but this season gives us a chance to pause, reflect, and serve as we look forward to a closer relationship with our Living Christ.

Christmas Eve Services

We will have two services on Christmas Eve: 4:00 PM (geared to families), and 7:00 PM (traditional candlelighting)

Back to Back 10:15 Services

On Sunday December 22 AND on December 29, we will have ONE service (at 10:15).

Our usual 9:30 / 11:00 schedule will resume on January 5.

When’s Advent?

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

  1. Week 1: Sunday Dec. 1 through Saturday Dec. 7
  2. Week 2: Sunday Dec. 8 through Saturday Dec. 14
  3. Week 3: Sunday Dec. 15 through Saturday Dec. 21
  4. Week 4: Sunday Dec. 22 through Christmas Day

 

Looking Forward: Advent Events

We’re not alone in this journey of looking forward.  During the month, PUMC will sponsor a series of events which will let us join together in celebration, worship, and service.  All are welcome to join in on this journey. 

Scroll through the week by week listings and click/tap the “drop down” boxes to learn more about each event…

 

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

SUNDAY 12/1: WORSHIP SERVICES

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. Pastor Jim will begin his four part sermon series on the Names of Jesus. Today he’ll speak on “Immanuel.”

TUESDAY 12/3: ROWAN COLLEGE CONCERT

At 7:30 the College / Community Chorus of Rowan College of South Jersey (RCSJ) will present their “Holiday Cheer” concert of songs and carols.

SATURDAY 12/7: NOT READY FOR PRIME TIME SINGERS

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

 


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

SUNDAY 12/8: WORSHIP SERVICES

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. Pastor Jim will continue his sermon series on the Names of Jesus. Today’s Name: “Prince of Peace.”

SUNDAY 12/8: COOKIE WALK

In between the two services, the United Methodist Women will hold one of their famous Cookie Walks! Make a donation to purchase a container, fill it up, and help support the mission work of the UMW.

SUNDAY 12/8: GLOUCESTER COUNTY CHILDREN'S CHOIR

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

THURSDAY 12/12: PRESCHOOL PAGEANT

At 10:00 AM the children of Our Father’s House preschool will present their annual Christmas Pageant in the sanctuary. All are welcome. They will also present it at our 9:30 service on December 15. More Info

 


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

SUNDAY 12/15: WORSHIP SERVICES

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. Pastor Jim will continue his sermon series on the Names of Jesus. Today’s Name: “The Light of the World.”

During the 9:30 service, the Our Father’s House preschool will present their Christmas Pageant. 

SUNDAY 12/15: WHITE GIFT SUNDAY

During the worship service our Sunday Schools will present their “white gift” boxes to support a mission project.

SUNDAY 12/15: CANTATA

At 4:15 our choirs will present our annual Christmas Cantata. This year’s cantata is entitled “His Name is Jesus.”   More Info  

TUESDAY 12/17: GIFT WRAPPING

Our Youth group will wrap gifts to raise funds for their upcoming Winter Thaw retreat.  Drop over anytime between 6-8 PM to have your gifts wrapped. The “Gift Wrap Shoppe” will open again this Thursday evening.

THURSDAY 12/19: GIFT WRAPPING

Our Youth group’s “Gift Wrap Shoppe” will be open again to raise funds for their upcoming Winter Thaw retreat.  Drop over anytime between 6-8 PM to have your gifts wrapped.

SATURDAY 12/21: NOT READY FOR PRIME TIME SINGERS

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

SATURDAY 12/21: BLUE CHRISTMAS

At 7:00 PM a service will be held for those who have recently lost loved ones.

 


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

SUNDAY 12/22: WORSHIP SERVICE- JIM HUGHES

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

Rev. Jim Hughes will be our guest speaker (and he’ll probably bring a biblical “friend” with him…)  

TUESDAY 12/24: CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICES

We will hold two worship services on Christmas Eve:

  • 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)

New Year’s Eve

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.

 

Looking Forward: Advent Devotional

Personal prayer and reflection are important ways to look forward to Christ. Through these quiet times with God we begin to see His activity in our lives, and we begin to refocus our hearts to His Love and glory…

PUMC has helped create an Advent Devotional booklet. This guide contains devotionals for each of the 27 days between November 30 and December 26. The booklets are available (no cost) in our Narthex, and they’re also accessible on our website: Advent Devotional

 

Looking Forward: Advent Wreath   

During each Sunday in Advent, we open our worship services by lighting the next candle in our advent wreath.  The wreath reminds us to look forward to Christ as He comes to us with Hope, Joy, Peace and Love.

Officially, Advent consists of the four Sundays leading into Christmas.  On each of the four December Sundays leading into Christmas,  we will light an additional candle on our Advent Wreath.  On Christmas Eve, we will light the center candle to recognize the advent of our Messiah.

The wreath consists of four candles surrounding a larger center candle.  Each of the smaller candles carries a special meaning, and as we light each week’s candle our attention is drawn to an additional promise that Christ brings.  The smaller candles remind us of: Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love.   Three of these smaller candles are purple while one is white.  The center candle (the Christ Candle) is white, and it will remain unlit until Christmas Eve. 

Click/tap each week’s tab to learn more…(the descriptions are from this year’s Advent Devotional booklet). 

Sunday December 1

Hope

First Purple Candle–  This is the first Sunday of Advent.   Advent is the season of thinking especially about the coming of Jesus to earth. In fact, that is what Advent means — coming to. It is Christ’s coming into the world as a little baby. Christ came to live with us and grow and develop as a person, showing us how to be like Him.

ScriptureIsaiah 60:2-3

Prayer–  Lord God, we light this candle to thank you for your Son, our Savior Jesus Christ, who is the Light of the World. We who have sat in darkness have seen a great light, the light of Jesus Christ, our salvation and our hope. We give you thanks and praise in Jesus’ name, because He lives and reigns with you in your glory, and in the unity of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Sunday December 8

Peace

Second Purple Candle–  We light this candle to remember that Jesus came to earth to bring peace. When we know Jesus, we have peace in our hearts. If we have peace in our own hearts, we can have peace with other people.

Scripture–   Isaiah 9:6-7

Prayer–   Lord God, we light this candle to thank you for your Son, our Savior Jesus Christ, who is the Prince of Peace. We who live in discord and strife have found peace in the promise of eternal life through Jesus Christ. We give you thanks and praise in Jesus’ name, because He lives and reigns with you in your glory, and in the unity of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Sunday December 15

Joy

Pink Candle– We light this candle, pink, to represent Joy. The only lasting joy on earth is through Christ. All other joy is fleeting and does not last.

ScriptureIsaiah 35:10

Prayer–  Lord God, we light this candle to thank you for your Son, our Savior Jesus Christ, who brings us great joy. We who have walked in the shadow of the valley of death have found life in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. We give you thanks and praise in Jesus’ name, because He lives and reigns with you in your glory, and in the unity of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Sunday December 22 

Love

Third Purple Candle– We light this candle, knowing that Jesus taught us love for God and all people. There are many examples in His life where Jesus showed us the way: how to love the unlovely, His enemies, His friends, and those in need. He loved us; let us love Him. 

Scripture–  Mark 1:4 and John 14:6

Prayer–  Lord God, we light this candle to thank you for your Son, our Savior Jesus Christ, who is the Way. We who like sheep have gone astray have found the way to you through Jesus Christ. We give you thanks and praise in Jesus’ name, because He lives and reigns with you in your glory, and in the unity of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Looking Forward: By Sharing

The season of advent is marked by music, worship, and celebration. But the love we share for each other can also be expressed by giving. Throughout the Advent Season, we look forward to Jesus by opening our hands to help those who are in need (and to receive the love He offers)…

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 15.

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 21).  More Info

 

White Gift Sunday

Our White Gift Sunday isn’t just for kids; everyone can help. During the weeks leading into White Gift Sunday (December 15), 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 31 (between 2:00 and 7:00 PM). Go to: https://www.redcrossblood.org/give.html/find-drive to schedule an appointment (enter in 08071 as the zip code and scroll down to January 31).

 


 

Looking Back…

Here’s a taste of Past Christmases at PUMC (click on the picture to learn more)…

 

What’s all this Advent, Epiphany, and Lent Stuff Anyway???

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…).

Epiphany

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“.

Lent

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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