Advent: Worship & Rest
I love Christmas. I love it like Oprah loves bread. I believe many people can make this same claim. I worry though that we are missing the meaning. This time of year most preachers write a note about how we have allowed Christmas to become too commercial and we have forgotten the true meaning. While I can agree, I have decided instead of stating the obvious, I might share a way for us to celebrate a little differently this year.
When I think of Christmas, the first thing that comes to mind for me is anticipation. As a child I would get so excited about the prospect of giving and receiving gifts on Christmas day that by the time it arrived I was often sick with anticipation. I wonder if this is the purpose of Advent. Advent is the time the Church actively anticipates the coming of Christ again at Christmas. Advent encompasses the four Sundays before Christmas. For children, this is a time of anticipation of getting out of school and of Christmas gifts, but for adults Advent is often a time of stress.
This year I propose we make Advent different. I propose we make it about remembering and anticipating the coming of Christ. Nolensville First UMC will be celebrating Advent with a program called, “The Wonder of Christmas.” Each Sunday, beginning December 2, we will explore four elements of the Christmas story that teach us about the wonder of God’s great love for us; a star, a name, a manger, and a promise. As we look to these wonder-filled aspects of the Christmas story, we will rediscover that the true wonder of Christmas is found in the love of Christ and made real in our hearts when we share that love with others.
I further propose that we should covenant together to spend time each day resting in the assurance that indeed Christ has come and Christ will come again. Instead of spending every waking moment rushing here and there preparing, let us decide to take some time to rest in the assurance of Emmanuel. Essentially, I would like to give us permission to step away from the Christmas rush for a little while and remember the hope of God with us. This might mean you miss a Christmas party, or a few cards won’t make it out in time, but it will also mean that the peace that Advent and Christmas are meant to bring can be yours. I pray that from this peace will come deeper faith and a call to share God’s love with others.
That is a Christmas gift I can really get excited about,
Rev. Jimmy Hendricks, firstname.lastname@example.org
Please join us on December 9 at 9:30am for Second Sunday Breakfast. Bring a favorite breakfast dish to share and come fellowship between the services with church family from the other service!
The Good News Sunday School Class is responsible for set-up, drinks, and clean up on December 9. Please remember that the class responsible for Second Sunday Breakfast is also requested to provide cookies, donuts, or other snacks for all other Sundays of the month. In January, the Emmaus Class will host.
Please put all food away after fellowship on ALL Sundays. We are called to be fishers of men, not of mice and ants! This class is also responsible for returning the Fellowship Hall to “Sunday Setting” after breakfast. Diagrams are posted on the kitchen doors.
Seventeen members of the UMW met on November 14, opening with a recitation of the UMW Purpose and Mission Statement, a devotion, “To Be Patient, ”from The Upper Room, and a reading from 2 Peter 1:3-11.
Patsy Elliot told about the UMW of Piney Flats, Tennessee, who make “ugly quilts” to help bring comfort to neighbors who are homeless.
Marcia Woodcock presented our program on World Thank Offering, which is one of the five channels of giving. This year’s scripture comes from the book of Ruth, describing how Ruth, her sister-in-law, Orpah, and her Mother-in-law, Naomi, provided supportive community to each other in the midst of life’s adversities. The UMW of today is, likewise, a community of supportive women. The UMW is a “sisterhood of grace”, organized 150 years ago. Marcia gave an outstanding program involving the participation of those present.
We adjourned with prayer, and we ate a delicious meal at the new Pork Belly Farmhouse restaurant.
The UMW will meet Wednesday, December 12, at 10:30am for our annual Christmas Party in the Fellowship Hall. Our meal will be prepared by Jackie Green, and our hostesses are Patsy Elliott and Donna Burdge. We will have a $10 gift exchange.
Respectfully submitted, Karen R. Hoffmeister, Secretary
Our United Methodist Women are serving through giving to GraceWorks Ministries. Every month they are concentrating on a particular need of GraceWorks and would like to encourage the entire congregation to help. In December, they are collecting pasta, pasta sauce, and canned tomato products. Every month they are collecting the following items for the Fuel Bag program: peanut butter crackers, fruit snacks, cereal bars, granola bars, fruit cups, and pudding cups. Items can be left in the GraceWorks bin in the breezeway or the basket in the foyer. Thank you to everyone who donated things for GraceWorks at Trunk or Treat, especially items for the fuel bags.
The Red Cross Blood Drive in November had 29 total donors, two first time donors, 27 units collected, and 81 potential number of lives saved. Thank you!
Children in Worship this Advent - As part of worship, children are invited to help decorate the Sanctuary. At the very beginning of each worship, all children will gather to parade behind the acolyte with ornaments in hand to decorate our Christmas tree. Tell your child he/she will be part of this very important introduction to worship and make plans to arrive ten minutes before worship. Each week, we will decorate using a different ornament. We hope your child will help every Sunday!
Party Bags - God gave us the greatest gift, the birth of Jesus! During Second Sunday Breakfast on December 9, children may pick up a party bag to take home to celebrate Jesus’ birthday with their family. The holiday season can get busy, and it can be tough to find opportunities to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas with your kids , so we have made it easier for you! Whatever you decide, make sure you take the time to talk to your kids about the birth of Jesus, God’s only Son. Sing “Happy Birthday,” and celebrate Jesus!
Light Bright Caroling - Save the date! On Sunday, December 23, Light Brights will go caroling. Please RSVP to Christina (email@example.com) by December 21 so we can plan transportation/treats accordingly. This an excellent opportunity to serve others, fellowship with one another and celebrate the spirit of Christmas!
Sun - Dec 2 - Youth@514: "A Message of Hope" 5-7pm
Wed - Dec 5 - Youth@Midweek 5-7pm
Sun - Dec 9 - Youth@514: "Preparing the Way" 5-7pm
Wed - Dec 12 - Youth@Midweek 5-7pm
Sun - Dec 16 - NFUMC Youth Christmas Party 5-7pm
Warmth in Winter - February 1-3, 2019, our youth will attend Warmth in Winter at Opryland Hotel. This is a conference-wide event and we will experience fellowship, speakers, break-out sessions, and worship! Cost is $225. Secure your spot with a $50 deposit! See Meggie for more details.
Christmas Party - All Youth and Parents are invited to join us Sunday, December 16, for our annual NFUMC Youth Christmas Party! We'll enjoy dinner, fellowship, and have a gift exchange. BRING A $5 GIFT!
Youth@514: Sundays 5-7pm - Join us for a time focused on growing together in our faith through food, games, worship, a lesson, and small group discussions.
Youth@Midweek: Wednesdays 5-7pm - Join us for a time of food, fun, and fellowship. This time is laid back and you are welcome to bring homework and friends! We will always begin our time with dinner and end with a short devotion.
Peace, Meggie McDowell, Youth Director, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Fellowship Class will be starting a new study on Sunday, December 2, based on the lectionary (see lectionary scripture readings on the back of the bulletin.) All are welcome to join us. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to Nikki Ringenberg.
On Sunday, December 9, come to the breezeway and pick up a lawn sign to invite your neighbors to church on Christmas Eve!
Are you interested in baptism, joining the church, or a particular ministry? Do you have a question about The United Methodist Church? Are you looking for a way to get involved? Grab a cup of coffee from the Fellowship Hall and meet the Pastor Jimmy in the hallway outside his office for a chat anytime 10-10:30am, Sunday, December 19.
Would you like to experience the wonder of Christmas like never before? During Advent, we will be exploring four elements of the Christmas story that teach us about the wonder of God’s great love for us:
As we look to these wonder-filled aspects of the Christmas story, we will discover that the true wonder of Christmas is found in the love of Christ and made real in our hearts when we share that love with others.
This transformational series will include special sermons and worship experiences for all ages. Join us this Advent as we embrace and celebrate the true wonder of Christmas, believing that because of God’s great love and light in Jesus Christ, anything is possible!
A star and a name. A manger and a promise.
You are invited to join us as we gather together to experience the wonder of the real gift of Christmas, the unconditional love God gave the world all those years ago.
The Wonder of a Star: December 2, 8:30am & 10:45am
The Wonder of a Name: December 9, 8:30am & 10:45am
The Wonder of a Manger: December 16, 8:30am & 10:45am
The Wonder of a Promise - Lessons & Carols: December 23, 8:30am & 10:45am
The Wonder of Christmas - Christmas Eve Candlelight Services: Monday, December 24, 5pm, 7pm & 11pm
Celebration of This Year’s Ministry: December 30, 10am single service
Jan & Jerry Jones will celebrate their fiftieth wedding anniversary on December 14!
Lord, we thank You for Jan and Jerry and for all of the years that they have had together. As we celebrate their anniversary, our prayer is that You will continue to bless them. Let their testimony of love and forgiveness be a help to other couples as they start on their own journeys into married life. Lord, we pray that You will honor their commitment to each other and to You by granting them many more years of happiness together. Amen.
12/1 Jackson W, Grayson S; 12/4 Jon Anderson, Terri Anderson; 12/5 Katie L; 12/8 Katie M; 12/9 Hank L; 12/10 Chloé M; 12/13 William P; 12/17 Joe Allen, William S, Hazel W; 12/19 William Edmondson, Porter Walker, Denise Gavin, Paul Duty; 12/21 Kristy Threet; 12/24 David Belden; 12/25 Nick Mucci; 12/27 Sam S; 12/28 Jeff Eubanks; 12/29 Kathy McGee; 12/30 Tom Howell, Rainey M
12/1 Mary & Ed Martin (51); 12/9 Meredith & Andrew Church (12); 12/16 Mary Beth & Mike Hagan (18); 12/20 Patsy & Larry Elliott (48); 12/27 Nancy & Joe Allen (58), Cindi & Clay Cooper (44); 12/28 Terri & Jon Anderson (52) and very special congratulations to Susan & Mike Nichols for their 30th wedding anniversary on December 3, to Lesa & Tyson Smith on their 40th wedding anniversary on December 15!
The entire staff of Nolensville First UMC want to extend a heartfelt “thank you” to all the people who treated us so nicely during Staff Appreciation Week last month. The lunch, goodies, and presents were a delight and we are so very grateful to have a church family that cares so much.
The work of the Church Council of Stewards is to envision, plan, implement, and annually evaluate Nolensville First UMC’s ministry and mission. All are invited to the Council meeting on Tuesday, December 11, at 7pm in the Fellowship Hall.
Church Council of Stewards:
February 19, 7pm
April 16, 7pm
June 18, 7pm
August 20, 7pm
October 15, 7pm
December 17, 7pm
Board of Trustees:
January 8, 7pm
January 10, 7pm
Total YTD Income $ 389,915.67
Total YTD Expense $ 341,700.59
Difference $ 48,215.08
Budgeted YTD Income $ 343,967.69
Budgeted YTD Expense $ 363,580.25
Difference ($ 19,612.56)
Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another as God in Christ forgave you. (Ephesians 4:32)