From Our Pastor

Upcoming Advent Events

Posted 13 December, 2018 by Pastor Keith Ritchie

While I can enjoy a "day off" as much as anyone, I did miss being in worship with you last Sunday. I had been excited to see the children of FUMC share their gifts in worship with their offering of Christmas Around the World. Also, I am grateful for the gift of the season of Advent and am sad not to worship during one of the four Sundays of this season. Finally, I know it a great blessing to worship with you and with all who are in the community of faith that is First UMC. The more I share in this worship with you, the more I know there is nothing that can substitute for this. So I am excited to be with you this Sunday, to be blessed and inspired by the gifts of the children as they present Christmas around the World.

I remind you of another worship opportunity on Thursday evening, December 20th. At 6pm that evening in the chapel, we will again host a "Blue Christmas" service. This service is sensitive to the fact that this season provides occasion not only for joy, but also for sadness and the experience of loss. So "Blue Christmas" invites us to know the comfort of God and the reminder that even in darkness and loss, we are not alone. All are invited to this service. Bonnylee Witt, Director of Pastoral Care at SOVAH Health, will help lead this service.

Please remember the 8pm and 11pm services on Christmas Eve. The first service will invite the children to find out "What God Wants for Christmas" and will feature the Chancel Choir. The 11pm service will also feature Choral Music; both services will offer candlelight and communion.

This coming Saturday being the third Saturday of the month, the ministries of the Food Bank and Clothes Closet will be offered from the Uptown Ministry Center Saturday morning. The doors open and work begins at 8:30am, with guests being served beginning at 9am. Not only is this a wonderful opportunity to serve God as we serve our neighbors, this is also a wonderful time to get to know one another as we serve our neighbors. I had a meeting in the Uptown Ministry Center this morning, and I see already that the leaders of the Clothes Closet Ministry have already put great work into setting up for Saturday morning.

On Monday morning, the food bags recently packed for local students will be delivered to Albert Harris, Patrick Henry, and Campbell Court Schools. I invite you to meet at the Uptown Ministry Center at 9:30am to help load and deliver these gifts that are of great blessing to many local families during the Christmas break. Thank you for your gifts that make this ministry possible.

You are invited to a fundraiser for the local Pregnancy Care Center. This "Dessert Fundraiser" will be held in the Uptown Ministry Center on Saturday evening. At 4:30pm, there will a dessert preview. Dinner begins at 5pm. At 6pm, bidding begins. Admission is free; a $5 donation is required for dinner. Dessert entries are needed; prizes will be given for the best desserts.

Because of the service of Lessons and Carols at 11am on December 23, the 8:45am service will not be held. I look forward to worshipping with everyone at the service of Lessons and Carols as we draw closer to the birth of Jesus.