From Our Pastor

Hanging of the Green

Posted 29 November, 2018 by Pastor Keith Ritchie

I am excited to share with you in the "Hanging of the Green" service this Sunday. This service begins what will be a blessed and inspiring season of Advent at First UMC. In addition to the lighting of the first Advent Candle, there will be wonderful narration and song, congregational and choral, all witnessing of the wonder of this season and of God's love and salvation of all he has made. We experience such love throughout this service that finally finds us at God's table. I look forward to seeing you there.

We will again hold our "Donuts on the Corner" Ministry next Monday morning. We will begin at 8:30am; the response from those receiving this gift of grace and hospitality has been wonderful.

In addition to handing out donuts this time, we will also be handing out Christmas ornaments. These ornaments have been made by members of the Open Arms Sunday School Class of FUMC. Rebecca Crabtree, one of the wonderful teachers of this class, was kind enough to think of distributing these ornaments in this way and has placed them in my care. I am grateful to the Open Arms teachers and the students. We are blessed more than we know by having this ministry be a vital part of the life of this church.

I thank the women of the Women of Psalms Circle of the church. These women again provided a pancake meal for the families of the Early Learning Center this past Tuesday. This is a wonderful gift of hospitality reminding of the good fortune we know as we share a blessed history and relationship with the ELC.

I hope you will take part in the midweek Advent Services in this season. We offered the first of these services yesterday, and will do so each Wednesday at noon in the sanctuary. In addition to scripture and the Lord's Supper, each service also offers inspiring music. Next Wednesday, our Director of Music Ministries, Jill Gardner, will sing.

I found it a great joy this past Monday to look in on the children preparing for the service of worship to be offered on December 9th. They, along with dynamic leadership from staff and choir moms, are working hard to offer "Christmas Around the World." Keep these children and their families in prayer, and know you will be blessed and inspired as you share in worship on December 9th.

Remember as well other services of worship before us: the Blue Christmas Service on December 20th, Lessons and Carols on December 23rd, Candlelight and Communion at 8pm and 11pm, Christmas Eve.

Do we know how blessed we are to offer not only wonderful ministries of mission, but wonderful ministries of worship as well? If we have forgotten such blessing, God is doing much to remind us of how he has blessed us right now.