Dear CUMC family:
I’ve just returned from a quick trip to Baltimore to do some training in that conference. Though traveling this time of year can be a bit hectic, it gives me a chance to get some reading done. This trip included books by Barbara Brown Taylor, an incredible preacher and teacher from the Episcopal family of the Christian church. I look forward to sharing some insights she offers as we continue the series called “It Was Not a Silent Night.” Last week we looked at the Christmas story from the perspective of the end of Mary’s life, and learned that one of the gifts of Christmas is the Hope of the resurrection. This week we’ll consider how she viewed Christmas from the foot of the cross. It will be a dip into the deep end of the theological pool as we consider the meaning of the cross and the mystery of God’s activity through Christ’s sacrifice. We’ll also enjoy an interpretive signing of the powerful song “Mary did you know?” You won’t want to miss it!
Next week 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. I would remind you that 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
3. Gratitude Sunday: A few weeks ago we celebrated Gratitude Sunday, and to update you, between the pledges we have already received, combined with the pledges we normally receive throughout the year, we have 26 commitments (3 more than 2017) with giving expected to be over $42,000! Thanks be to God and thanks be to you for your faithfulness to God and God’s vision for the church.
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