Worship at Home Materials: We will be offering worship in-person as well as on Zoom this coming Sunday. Coffee & tea are available after the church service. We ask that if you have not yet been vaccinated you attend worship via Zoom.
Grace to you and peace, from God our Creator and the Lord Jesus Christ! Happy New Year! I write this freshly back from a jaunt to the southern commonwealth, Massachusetts, from which I return very happy to be home in Blue Hill and looking forward to tonight’s festivities around town. Then, tomorrow morning, we continue our celebration with our somewhat early celebration of Epiphany, with the story of the “wise men’s” arrival to pay homage to the Christ child. We also will remember Jesus’ gifts to us by recalling his last supper with the disciples in our sacrament of Communion. This will be an energetic morning when we can ring in the new year together!
Grace to you and peace, from God our Creator and the Lord Jesus Christ! Come one, come all to our Pop-Up Pageant tomorrow, when we turn our focus to Christ’s birth, Emmanuel, God with us! You’ll be invited to take a costume as you enter the sanctuary and will be cued to move forward as your “character” enters the scene. The familiar story draws us each year because the news is good! There is hope in difficult times and light in the darkness. This is true even as we pray for an end to war and poverty, knowing that their harm is deep today.
You have many opportunities for worship this week, with our Wednesday evening 5:00 service marking the longest night and also recognizing that the holiday season is not always “merry and bright” for everyone. Then, at 7:00 on Christmas Eve we will gather for our traditional candlelight service of lessons and carols.
Before then, we will meet following worship tomorrow, first for cocoa and cookies, and then for our quarterly meeting. This is primarily informational; so, if you have questions about what’s going on in our congregation, be sure to plan to stay for the meeting! Thanks to all those who are preparing their reports!
Grace to you and peace, from God our Creator and the Lord Jesus Christ!
This Sunday, as we light the third Advent candle, the candle of Joy, we are invited to consider the way that even our most difficult moments can be transformed by joy or into joy. Still, living through challenges is not easy and requires a strength we do not always feel as though we have. It is into moments like these that we may pray to be reminded of all that we can do for others and what God can do for us. Those are the changes we await and prepare for in Advent. Celebrate the promise of joy with your church family tomorrow, as we pray and sing together, including joining the choir in familiar carols and new, upbeat songs.
Tomorrow is the second Sunday of Advent and the first Sunday of the month. So, we have a busy morning of worship, including Communion. After a very long time without the congregation partaking in the sacrament, we will again be serving the bread and the cup! Communion is one way that we rejoice in our unity this season, with the familiar symbols joining others in this special season. Our young people will be creating Advent wreaths that help us remember the light of Christ that has come and will come, and we are all invited to celebrate that light during our candlelighting ritual in the beginning of our worship service. Helping us to celebrate this Sunday is our Chimes Choir and also special music from our neighbor Clair Maxwell, who will offer a postlude on the organ. We are grateful for all our church musicians!
Other symbols on which we will focus this weekend come from the scripture texts we read. Our passage from Isaiah introduces familiar images that we may consider in new ways. The coming Messiah is proclaimed as arising as a “shoot” from “the stump of Jesse.” We may choose to ponder what is cut away and what new growth may come; what is winnowed and what is left as we make ourselves ready for new life. All are welcome to celebrate and to make ready with us.
Grace to you and peace, from God our Creator and the Lord Jesus Christ! As promised, I greet you this morning with “Happy New Year!” Our season of worship shifts to what is sometimes thought of as a “fast season,” not in terms of speed but of focus. As we prepare for the “feast” of Christmas and its tidings of glory, we are encouraged to live into a spirit of abundance. We can do this by mindfully taking note of the blessings represented by the themes of the season, beginning this Sunday with Hope. We light the candle of hope tomorrow morning and begin to celebrate the wonder of Christmas and the birth of the Christ child. In our contemplating “what to expect while we are expecting,” the infant Jesus, the presence of God, we pray that there be hope for the world, today and always, while we live to provide that hope for others.