The Season of Advent
Hope beyond Hope
Hope is waiting in faith, and this will be the focus of worship this Advent season. In Romans 4:18, the apostle Paul reminded the church that Abraham held on to hope beyond hope. In the time we have been living, we too, need Paul’s reminder to hold on to hope beyond hope. Each Sunday, our themes will listen to biblical stories from the prophets and teachers who encouraged the people to place their hope in God, even though they were weary.
We will consider the expansive contours of hope through word, music and the lighting of the Advent candles, with these themes:
- Hear Hope: November 28: The First Sunday of Advent - Isaiah 9:2,6-7, John 1:14
- See Hope: December 5: The Second Sunday of Advent- Isaiah 9:2, John 1:1-5
- Share Hope: December 12: The Third Sunday of Advent – Mark 2:1-12
- Proclaim Hope: December 19: The Fourth Sunday of Advent - Luke 4:16-21, John 6:28-35
2021 Advent Devotion Booklet
We often hear that spending a few minutes each day working on a goal can bring about growth. The same can be said about our spiritual lives. Both at Advent and Lent if not at other times during the year, reading and reflection can help with personal growth. In this Advent season, these daily devotions are intended to stimulate thought about God’s word. They are written from a layman’s perspective with little more training than what many experience in their religious lives. They are offered with love and with hope, that by reading them, you will be motivated to think more about God, to pray more to God, and to draw closer to your loved ones.
Based on the Common Lectionary of Year C, the devotions continue through Christmas and into Christmastide then end at Epiphany. The writings are paired with a piece of visual artwork and a bit of music, most recorded on YouTube. My hope is that your day will be better for spending a few minutes each day.
Harold Frye, Ed.D.
Come to Bethlehem and Be Nourished - Advent’s Hunger Gives Way to Christmas’ Fulfillment. PDF download.
Advent Christian Education
There is nothing more necessary in these days than hope! When chaos imposes fear on our unsuspecting lives, it is hope that pulls us up and guides us forward. And in helpless seasons when we find there is nothing left within ourselves to rely on, we encounter the depth and fortitude of “hoping against hope” —Romans 4:18. Throughout the season of Advent, we will focus on the Biblical tradition of hope. The Bible is full of searching people yearning for home. Our Follow Me and Grace Makers Sunday school classes will take a look at some of these stories and learn practices that can help us hear, see, share and proclaim hope.
Follow Me is a Biblical study of the practices of faith in a whole new learning format. The curriculum is divided into 4 – 6 week units that address a particular faith practice. The Advent study will focus on, “Hope.” Come for a unit, come for a class, or come every Sunday!
Take a look at what’s coming up. The Adult Class meets in Room 3. You can Zoom in at: https://tinyurl.com/yanmupj9.
- December 5 – December 19: Hope: Hope is Waiting in Faith
- January 2: The Practice of Memory; Come make a journal or time capsule with your story of faith and the pandemic. (Adult classes only, in Heartland Hall)
- January 9 – February 6: Baptize: Remember Your Baptism; Cross the Divide; Die and Rise; Honor the Body
Church (PCUSA) and Society
Adult Education Class, December 5-19. Meets in Room 4. You can Zoom in at: https://tinyurl.com/krd5pz84
Appropriately for the Advent Season the Church and Society adult education class will be The Troubled Land of Jesus’ Birth.
Dating from the establishment of modern day Israel in 1948, there has been constant turmoil in the area of Israel-Palestine. What is the history? What has the PCUSA had to say about this issue? Pastor Mitch travelled to this area in 2014 and will share his perspectives along with discussion leader Dave Pack. Others who have travelled to this area are encouraged to share their experiences. We often speak of Jesus as the “prince of peace,” but the land of his birth has known little peace in modern days. Bring your Bible.