I hope and trust your thanksgiving was a blessed one even though loss may have reshaped your experience of it this year. As we prepare to recognize Christ the King Sunday (11/26), I encourage you to reflect on ways Christ’s priorities are manifest in our day-to-day lives and decisions. This Sunday, our episcopal leader, Bishop Peggy Johnson, will be preaching at both services, and visiting City Mission in between worship services. There will not be a lectionary discussion between services for this reason. Bishop Johnson will bring a message of encouragement to us as we continue to heal from the mass shooting in Lewiston last month.
This coming Saturday (12/2), we will host our Public Bean Supper, 5 pm, with the Park Avenue Pickers offering music prior to the dinner. On Sunday evening, 12/3, 5 pm, I will lead a Blue Christmas Service which is designed to help facilitate experiences and feelings of loss which have been sustained this past year. When the celebrational barometer reaches an all-time high, it can be emotionally difficult to manage grief. This service is open to all and may heal some of what we feel as we enter the advent season.
Speaking of Advent, there are two advent educational classes offered this year. The first is led by (former pastor) Peg Moser and focuses on the prophetic messages of Simeon and Anna when Jesus is dedicated at 8 days old. The class meets on Fridays at 6:30 pm, UMCA on the following dates: 12/1, 12/8, 12/15 and 1/5/24. The second is a class by Pastor Emeritus Russ Peppe focusing on the places of the Christmas story. It will meet on three Sundays at 7 pm, UMCA: 12/3, 12/10 and 12/17. The Youth Group-led Christmas Pageant will be offered on 12/17 at 10:30 am. Our annual “Songs and Sounds of the Season” Christmas concert will be held Saturday, 12/9, 4 pm, UMCA.
Please remember, that beginning this Sunday (11/26), we will be returning to the weekly practice of locking the church doors at 10:40 am (ten minutes into worship service time) to ensure safer sanctuary protocol for both the sanctuary congregation and the church school. I want to thank all who helped decorate the church building and campus for Christmas. Bless you!
May God’s grace be with you as we enter a season of advent together,
Pastor Steve Bascom