From Our Pastor

Third Sunday of Advent

Posted 14 December, 2017 by Pastor Keith Ritchie

The ministries of the Food Bank and Clothes Closet have been especially blessed in preparation for this Saturday. This being the third Saturday of the month, these ministries will take place in the Uptown Ministry Center. We have received meats and fruits we usually do not receive, in addition to food boxes from Kroger and Food Lion. We are more than fortunate to be able to bless our neighbors in need with the offering of such food, as well as items from the Clothes Closet.

In this season in which we remember the gift of God's son, I hope we will take time to give our time and efforts to these ministries on Saturday morning. This is one of those times in which those of us who share in the giving find ourselves more blessed than those who receive. I look forward to taking part in these ministries on Saturday (beginning at 8:20am) and am reminded as I do so how fortunate I am to share with you in such vital ministries.

We find ourselves, this Sunday, worshipping on the third Sunday of Advent. This is the Sunday of "Joy" in this season. In addition to lighting the Advent candles, we will meet John the Baptist as he speaks of his role as a witness to Christ. The Chancel Choir will present a selection titled, "I Shall Know When He Comes" at 11am. John Fair, our guest organist for Sunday, will present a selection of Christmas favorites prior to the 11am service.

On Monday evening at 7pm, we are fortunate to host the Market Street Brass Quintet. This quintet will perform a number of sacred works throughout the concert, in addition to "jazzed up" versions of popular seasonal selections. This concert is for all ages and is sure to be a highlight of this season. The concert is free, but an offering will be received to support the Salvation Army Warming Shelter.

Just a reminder that the "Blue Christmas" service will be offered in the First UMC Chapel at 6pm on Thursday evening. This service will offer scripture, prayer, hymns, the lighting of candles, and the remembering of loved ones. All are invited to share in this time of worship in which we seek to claim the comfort of God even as we may experience loss in this season. A reception will follow in the social hall.

Remember as well the services of worship on Christmas Eve at 8pm and 11pm. The 8pm service will feature the Chancel Choir and a Spontaneous Christmas Pageant; the 11pm service will be a "quieter" service of worship. Each service will feature Candlelight and Communion.

I pray this season of Advent is truly a season of hope and peace for you. As you journey together in the final days of this season, I pray, as well, we find ourselves drawn closer to Christ and closer to one another, united in worship and service of this one who loves us enough to give his son.