Dear CUMC Family,
One of the challenges for every community of faith, regardless of size, is communication. I’m planning on sending a Weekly eNote as another way to share the good news of what’s happening at CUMC! If you would rather not get this eNote, please let me know and I’ll remove you from the list. If you are reading this on the website and would like to be added, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This week we begin a new series of messages for the season of Advent called “It Was Not a Silent Night,” based on lyrics from the song “Labor of Love” by Andrew Peterson. The holidays are a challenging time for many people. While it seems on the surface that the whole world is celebrating, the windows and streets filled with sparkling lights and brightly colored packages, many are struggling. This week, we light the candle of Hope, a reminder that followers of Jesus are called to shine their light, helping bring hope those who are struggling. In this series, we will travel each week looking at the Christmas story through the eyes of Mary, the mother of Jesus. This week we look at the Christmas story from the perspective of the end of Mary’s life. How did she view Christmas from that point? Next week we’ll consider how she viewed Christmas from the foot of the cross. The week after we’ll look at what she might have been thinking when she found her 12 year old son in the synagogue in Jerusalem. Finally, we’ll finish on Christmas Eve with Mary’s experience that first Christmas, with our morning service and then a special Candlelight Service at 7 p.m. Christmas Eve night. This is a great opportunity to invite a friend, particularly someone who might be struggling this holiday season.
Here’s what else is going on:
1. Festival of Light, Dec 14 – 16, 4:00 – 7:00 p.m.: As you may know, this is a three-night event featuring nativities, trees and angels shared by many people in the community. Each evening there will be hot drinks and snacks, as well as entertainment each night. Over 700 people have connected to this event on Facebook!!
2. Clothing Closet: As mentioned above, followers of Jesus are called to reflect the light and love of Christ in the world, to be like a candle shining in the darkness. One way we shine the light is through our service to others, and there is no better time to do so than during the season of Christmas. At CUMC, there is always an opportunity to serve at the Clothing Closet. To learn more about this ministry or get on the schedule, contact John at email@example.com
3. Gratitude Sunday: Last Sunday we celebrated Gratitude Sunday, the opportunity each of us has to respond to the goodness of God by making a commitment to give to God a proportion of our income. We know many of you were not able to be with us this past week and will want to make a commitment. Estimate of giving cards will be available for you to fill out this week during worship. Those of you enjoying the warmer weather in other parts of the country, we’ll be sending you something in the mail very soon. Even with the lower turnout, we received 15 pledges coming to over $33,000!
4. Find us and like us on Facebook! It’s also great help if you share events on your page to spread the good news of exciting events at CUMC. You can find the page at fb.me/centenaryfaith
5. Connect to the website: Our website is www.centenaryfaith.org, and other way to keep connected to what’s happening. In addition, on most weekends, the audio of the weekly message and Grow-Pray-Study guide are available for download. Currently we have people listening in from all over the country!
Looking forward to seeing you in worship this weekend.
Grace and peace