Dear CUMC family
This week is the third week of Advent – already! We continue our series of messages “It was not a silent night,” looking at the Christmas story through the eyes of Mary. This week, Mary is in her late 20’s, early 30’s – and we take a look at the moment that Mary and Joseph leave Jerusalem after the Passover festival, but end up leaving 12 year old Jesus behind – and not on purpose! (Luke 2: 41 – 51). Somehow, no one realizes that Jesus is not with the group as they all head for him. Here are a set of questions we’ll address: Why is this the only story we have in the NT scriptures about Jesus’ childhood? Why this particular story out of what must be hundreds of stories of things that must have happened? And of course, how does it help us understand more fully the story of Christmas?
I look forward to worshiping with you as we celebrate this special season, remembering the true gifts of Christmas.
Here’s what else is going on:
1. Festival of Light, Dec 14 – 16, 4:00 – 7:00 p.m.: Last night kicked off this year’s Festival which continues tonight and tomorrow. This is a great opportunity to invite friends to experience the joy of the season as well as enjoy the gifts of others in the community.
2. Christmas Eve Schedule: We will have our regular Sunday morning service at 10:30 a.m. and then have our special Candlelight Christmas Eve service at 7 p.m. This is another great opportunity to invite a friend or neighbor!
3. January Sermon Series: On January 7th, we’ll start a new series called “got questions?” This series is designed especially to connect with non-religious and nominally religious people who may have questions about God, faith and it’s relevancy to life today. Frankly, these are also the kinds of questions thinking people of faith have as well. There will be postcards available at the church for you to use to invite friends and neighbors. You can also share this link to a video highlighting some of the questions we’ll consider: https://vimeo.com/247358696. (A big “THANK YOU” to Natasha for lending her voice to the project!)
4. Clothing Closet: Each year the Clothing Closet reaches more people and gives out more and more clothing. In 2017, over 3200 volunteer hours provided help to over 6200 people coming to the Closet, which provided clothes for over 18,000 people! That doesn’t even take into account the clothing that was given to other organizations who also provide clothing to those in need!! This is a great opportunity to shine the light of God’s love. To learn more about this ministry or get on the schedule, contact John at firstname.lastname@example.org
5. Find us and like us on Facebook! It’s great help if you share events on your page to spread the good news of the exciting things at CUMC. You can find the page at fb.me/centenaryfaith
6. 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, including our own neighborhood.
Looking forward to seeing you in worship this weekend.
Grace and peace