Advent & Christmas

It had been our hope that Advent would bring a blended worship service, with in-person and remote attendance, for our Vespers and Christmas Eve services. However, with the number of Covid-19 infections rising in the city, we've decided to suspend that plan until it is safe to gather in-person again.  Our aim is to stay connected to each other and our traditions, even as we adapt our practices this year.  To help us do just that, see below for our robust and joyful Advent offerings...throughout the season and on Christmas Eve.  

While this is the season of waiting, it is also the season of wonder and possibility.  We get to remember that God is with us!  That is cause for great hope indeed.  

CONNECT & CARE GROUPS
Connect & Care is SPSA's new small group ministry and continues in Advent. Taking inspiration from St. Paul and the early Christian communities, these are intergenerational small groups with an appointed lay leader who will serve as a facilitator and convener.  The groups keep in touch with each other throughout the week on email.  And each Sunday, they get together on Zoom. Sunday Sessions are a time to reflect on the worship service, share with each other about our lives, pray, and take communion. New participants are always welcome, just complete the I'm New form to get connected!

SUNDAYS IN ADVENT
Sundays (November 27, December 6, 13, 20)
Worship Services available each week on our YouTube channel

Advent 1
Sunday, November 29
We mark the beginning of Advent by listening for the heralds of hope, bringing good news. We also celebrate UM Student Sunday by highlighting our thriving campus ministry.

Advent 2
Sunday, December 6
We mark the second week of Advent by discerning the openings in ourselves and our world to transformation and birth. We’ll celebrate holy communion, as well, during the virtual worship service

Advent 3: Christmas Pageant
Sunday, December 13
available on our YouTube channel or join us for a Pageant YouTube Watch party at 11am
Our virtual pageant for kids, youth, and families will premiere on YouTube at 11am. We can watch together from our homes, interacting through the comments. The pageant will be a half-hour long and will also be included in our pre-recorded Sunday worship for the Third Sunday of Advent, which will be available on YouTube channel on Sunday morning. Join us for a wonder-full morning of music, prayer, readings, and the Christmas story!

Advent 4: Service of Lesson & Carols 
Sunday, December 15
available on our YouTube channel
followed by a Coffee Hour on Zoom at 12 noon
We mark the fourth and final week of the season by reflecting on the gift and hopeful orientation of Advent expectation. We’ll adapt our beloved Lessons & Carols to a virtual service of music and readings that is sure to inspire and uplift.


ADVENT VESPERS

Wednesdays (December 2, 9, 16) at 6:30 on Zoom
We’ll gather together from our homes for an intimate and reflective time of music, devotional readings, prayer, and scripture. The Zoom services will be about twenty minutes long and will help hold us in this season as a church community. Together, we will watch and wait for the Christ child.


CHRISTMAS EVE
Family Christmas Eve Service
Thursday, December 24 at 5pm
Our virtual service for kids and families will premiere on YouTube. We can watch together from our homes, interacting through the comments. The service will be forty minutes long and will be a time of music, prayer, readings, and the Christmas story!

Candlelight Christmas Eve Service
Thursday, December 24 at 11pm
For the first ten minutes, we’ll hear beautiful instrumental music from our musicians. The service will offer scripture, music, a sermon from our Senior Pastor, and a time of prayer. Have a candle and a bell nearby because some traditions are worth holding onto, even if they are experienced from home instead of our beloved sanctuary. Come midnight, we’ll switch to Zoom so we can spread the light of Christ and hear the bells of Christmas ring out together.