Advent and Christmas Season

When something hits close to home, it affects us deeply. During the Advent and Christmas season, we journey through scriptures and rituals that are tender, heavy with emotion, and vulnerable. We carry the memories and truths of this season close to our hearts. Close to Home acknowledges the “already but not yet” tension of our faith: Emmanuel is with us, and yet, God’s promised day—our everlasting home—is not fully realized. It names our deep longing for God to come close to us.

WEEK ONE: HOMESICK (HOPE)
WEEK TWO: LAYING THE FOUNDATION (PEACE)
WEEK THREE: A HOME FOR ALL ( JOY)
WEEK FOUR: SEEKING SANCTUARY (LOVE) 

— A SANCTIFIED ART LLC

Advent Wreath Making

Sunday, November 28, 9:30-10:30 am and 12:15-1:15 pm
This year our annual Advent Wreath Making will take place both before and after worship. Weather permitting, we will set up outside on the front steps. In the event of extreme cold or inclement weather we will set up in the Assembly Room. If you prefer to make your wreath at home bring a bag to pick up your wreath materials. We will provide wreaths, greens, and candles (one set per family please). We have some gloves and clippers but suggest bringing your own if you have them. A $10 per wreath donation is appreciated to help us cover our costs. As in years past, we will also have devotional materials and spiritual practice ideas available to enhance your Advent experience. Masks should be worn at all times while inside the premises.

Build Your Own Nativity

Sunday, December 12 from 9:30 to 10:30 am
Join us in the Assembly Room to create gingerbread nativities using graham crackers and other tasty treats. All supplies will be provided.

Christmas Decorating

Sunday, December 12 at 12:30 pm
Plan to stay after worship to decorate the sanctuary for Christmastide.

Christmas Carols & Cocoa

Sunday, December 19 at 3 pm
Join neighboring churches for a festive afternoon of outdoor caroling, cocoa, and cookies. Youth group members will host a bake sale and cocoa bar to fundraise for the Winter Weekend trip. Meet in front of the church building to participate.

Advent Worship

Mid-Week Prayer Service

Thursdays, December 3-17 from 5:30 to 6:15 pm
Take a moment to pause during the busy season of Advent and join us at our weekly prayer service, a time when we come together to hold the community and the world in prayer. All are welcome.

150th Anniversary Celebration

Sunday, December 5, Join Us Throughout the Day
On December 5, we’ll mark the end of our 150th year on the corner of Park and Lafayette Avenues. Join us as we celebrate throughout the day. From 9:30 to 10:30 am: Help us create a time capsule to be housed in the columbarium for a feature generation to reveal. At 11 am: Worship featuring music from the very first service of worship, highlights from our collection of Stories of Hope & Faith, and music from our handbell choir and Soulful Revue. Starting at Noon: Following worship, stay to explore some of our history displayed throughout the Assembly Room and Sanctuary. Light refreshments served following COVID safety protocols. Then at 4 pm: Holiday Concert on the original organ now housed at the Christadelphian Chapel in Catonsville (600 Frederick Road).

Christmas Pageant

Sunday, December 19 at 11 am
Plans for our annual Christmas Pageant are still in development. Stay tuned for more details on how you can participate as the date draws nearer.

Longest Night Gathering for a Holiday Service of Remembrance & Grief

Tuesday, December 21 at 7 pm
Western Christianity has an Advent tradition of inviting people to come together for the Longest Night, a night around the time of the winter solstice, when there are more hours of darkness than light. It’s a time to come together for prayers and laments, to mourn the losses and griefs of the year, to let the tears flow for the hurting places in our own lives, as well as for our country and our world. Known also as “Blue Christmas,” a Longest Night Gathering is a safe and sacred space to share anguish, to plead with God to remember us, to prayfor justice and restoration, even to hope against hope, through our doubts and tears and fears, that “God will set things right all over the earth” (1 Samuel 2:10, The Message Translation). Sing, pray, and share your grief with God and one another.

Christmas Eve Lessons & Carols Service of Worship

Friday, December 24 at 5:30 pm
A candlelight service retelling the Christmas story interspersed with favorite carols sung by the Chancel Choir, Soloists and Congregation. The prelude begins at 5 pm. This year’s service will also be live-streamed via Zoom. Use the regular worship link to join virtually.

First Sunday After Christmas Virtual Worship

Sunday, December 26 at 11 am
Join us from the comfort of your living room, in your pj’s if you’d like, for this virtual only worship service. Please use our regular worship link to attend.

Epiphany Star Word Sunday

Sunday, January 9, 2022 at 11 am
Come receive your star gift during worship this morning. What Are Star Gifts? Star gifts are a prayer practice connected to Epiphany and the new year. Your star gift will contain a word to guide your prayers for the coming year. Just as the Magi followed a star, so will we. We encourage you to place your star somewhere that you will regularly see it throughout the year to allow for continual reflection on how God has and is moving through, around, or in connection to that word. If you are not able to be present to receive your star gift sign up here or contact Sharon Holley to receive one by mail.