Join Us for Advent & Christmas 2019 at FPC Burlington

Join Us for Advent & Christmas 2019 at FPC Burlington

Sunday, December 1, First Sunday of Advent

Worship Services: 8:30 and 11:00 a.m. — Sanctuary

Sermon: Unbreakable Gifts: The Gift of Hope — Taylor Barner, Isaiah 2:1-5, Matthew 24:36-44

Lighting of the Advent Candle — 8:30 a.m. – Christine and Fred Fischer, 11:00 a.m. – Sheryl Bryan and Tom Williamson

Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper

“Christmas Around the World” Advent Festival — Join us in the children’s ministry classrooms (Rooms 223 & 224) at 9:45 a.m. on Sunday, December 1, to explore “Christmas Around the World.” This year’s event will feature hands-on crafts, tasty treats, music, and storytelling from all over the world. Come learn and celebrate— Joyeux Noel! Fröhliche Weihnachten! Feliz Navidad!

Taizé Service – 6:30 p.m. in Calvin Hall. Our Advent Taizé Service will take place in Calvin Hall as we encircle the labyrinth. This service of quiet and reflection offers opportunity to pray, to observe silence, to absorb song as a means of prayer, and to open channels of reflection as we await the coming of the Savior this Advent season. The labyrinth will be open for walking prior to the service, 5:15–6:15 p.m. Instructions on walking the labyrinth will be available, as well as a finger labyrinth for those who desire a more intimate experience.

Wednesday, December 4

Contemplative Ministry — Advent Quiet Spaces: Opportunities for stillness and group contemplative spiritual practice during this season of waiting and watching. Wednesdays, 11:30 a.m.-12 noon, Room 201. All are invited to bring their lunch to enjoy together at the conclusion of the session. Wednesday, December 4: Praying the Prayer of Loving-Kindness — Open your heart with this ancient prayer directing loving-kindness, wellness, peacefulness and happiness to yourself, others and the world.

Sunday, December 8, Second Sunday of Advent

Worship Services: 8:30 and 11:00 a.m. — Sanctuary

Sermon: Unbreakable Gifts: The Gift of Peace — Ron Shive, Isaiah 11:1-10, Matthew 3:1-12

Lighting of Advent Candles: 8:30 a.m. – Melissa and Phillip Allen, 11:00 a.m. – Helen and Barry Eckman

Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper

Church-wide Christmas Fellowship Lunch, 12:00 p.m. in Calvin Hall — Everyone is invited to this merry time together. Menu: baked spaghetti, tossed salad, and fruit cobbler. Lunch is free and donations are always appreciated. This Fellowship Lunch will end with ALL invited to break into groups for caroling around town, especially to members of our congregation. We will practice some of these “good ol’ carols” before caroling, so no experience is necessary, just an open heart to share the good news of Jesus’ birth! Wear your festive Christmas clothes if you wish! Please come and bring a friend with you!

Tuesday, December 10

Lunch Bunch Book Club — Book Club will meet at noon on Tuesday, December 10 in the John Knox Room to discuss The Age of Blessing by Vickie Morrow. The author will lead discussion! Bring your lunch and join us!

Wednesday, December 11

Contemplative Ministry — Advent Quiet Spaces: Opportunities for stillness and group contemplative spiritual practice during this season of waiting and watching. Wednesdays, 11:30 a.m.–12 noon, Room 201. All are invited to bring their lunch to enjoy together at the conclusion of the session. Wednesday, December 11: Lectio Divina — Divine Reading — Prayerfully, we will encounter a sacred text, listening with new ears for what God is saying to us at this time and place in our lives.

Thursday, December 12

Playschool’s Annual Christmas Family Night — Each class will perform a short program in Calvin Hall beginning at 6:00 p.m. Then families are invited into John Knox for refreshments and a visit with Santa.

Saturday, December 14

Annual Fruit Basket Delivery to Homebound Members — The day will begin with breakfast in the Welcome Center. Volunteers are needed for about an hour to deliver fruit baskets to church members who are not able to be with us on Sunday, but who faithfully remember their church. Baskets and recipient names are picked up at the church between 9:00–10:00 a.m. A delivery partner to visit with you can be assigned. Please call the church office (336-228-1703) if you are able to help.

Sunday, December 15, Third Sunday of Advent

Worship Services: 8:30 and 11:00 a.m. — Sanctuary

Sermon: Unbreakable Gifts: The Gift of Joy — Ron Shive, Isaiah 35:1-10, Luke 1:46b-55

Lighting of the Advent Candles: 8:30 a.m. – Kim and John Love, 11:00 a.m. – Sarah Blake, Bill, and William Finigan

Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper

Explore FPC Lunch: If you are a newcomer to the life and worship of First Presbyterian Church, please join the church staff for lunch on Sunday, December 15, following the 11:00 a.m. worship service in Room 122. This will be an opportunity to meet other newcomers, get to know our church staff, and learn more about the exciting ministries of this great church. If you have any questions, please contact Ron Shive at rshive@ fpcburlington.org.

A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, 5:00 p.m.A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols will be held on Sunday, December 15 at 5:00 p.m. in the sanctuary. 2019 marks the 57th year our congregation has offered this much beloved service. A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols is patterned after that used at King’s College, Cambridge, England since 1918. Our Festival will include carols of the season sung by the Choirs of FPC and congregation, accompanied by a chamber orchestra, timpani, and organ. A prelude of carols for handbells, harp, and strings will begin at 4:30 p.m. An offering to support the Music Fund will be taken.

Wednesday, December 18

Contemplative Ministry — Advent Quiet Spaces: Opportunities for stillness and group contemplative spiritual practice during this season of waiting and watching. Wednesdays, 11:30 a.m.–12 noon, Williams Chapel. All are invited to bring their lunch to enjoy together at the conclusion of the session. Wednesday, December 18: Stillness, Guided Meditation, Reflection — Join in community for a time of stillness, guided meditation, and reflection centered in the Advent season. Our time together will be enhanced with harp music and liturgical dance as we anticipate the coming of the Savior.

Thursday, December 19

Friendship Group — Friendship Group brings a “Delightful December” to FPC as we gather in the John Knox Room at 11:00 a.m. for a retelling of The Littlest Angel with Dinny Sisley and Patrick Murphy. Carols of the season will also be featured! And a delightful lunch for $5.00! Join the fellowship and enjoy a delightful December!

Sunday, December 22, Fourth Sunday of Advent

Worship Services: 8:30 and 11:00 a.m. — Sanctuary

Sermon: Unbreakable Gifts: The Gift of Love — Ron Shive, Matthew 1:18-25, Luke 2:1-7

Lighting of the Advent Candles: 8:30 a.m. – Cindy, Johnny, Jacob, and Ally Gilliam, 11:00 a.m. – Jennifer, Brian, and Jack Wells

Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper

Christmas Joy Offering: A special offering of the PC(USA) will be taken up this year called the Christmas Joy Offering. This offering provides financial assistance to current and former church workers and their families and also enables deserving students to attend Presbyterian-related racial ethnic colleges and schools. Envelopes will be available in the pews. Thank you for making a difference in the lives of others!

Children-led Nativity and Reading — 11:00 a.m. More than Just a Pageant — Children have an opportunity to lead worship on Sunday, December 22. During the 11:00 a.m. children will bring the good news of the birth of our savior through reading poetry and creating a “picture” of the nativity. All children and grandchildren are invited to participate in this opportunity. Register online for a role or contact Charlotte Nance-Allbright callbright@fpcburlington.org for more information. Important dates – Sunday, December 15 at 9:15 a.m. costume fitting; Sunday, December 22 at 9:30 a.m. practice.

Drive Thru Live Nativity — The Annual Live Nativity returns Sunday, December 22 from 6:00–8:00 p.m. right here at FPC! Our students will bring the Christmas story to life and you can witness it all from the comfort of your car!  We invite you to drive through and join us in celebrating the Christmas season! Hope to see you there!!

Tuesday, December 24, Christmas Eve

Candlelight Communion Worship Services: 5:00 and 11:00 p.m. — Sanctuary

Sermon:Unbreakable Gifts: The Gift of A Child — Ron Shive, Isaiah 9:2-7, Luke 2:8-20

Lighting of the Advent Candles: 5:00 p.m. – Jane and Randy Wellford, 11:00 p.m. – Lydia Allen

Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper

Sunday, December 29, First Sunday after Christmas

One Worship Service: 10:00 a.m. — Sanctuary

Sermon: Taylor Barner

Additional Advent and Christmas Information

Devotional Guides

Straw for the Manger Advent Devotional Guides for youth and adults will be available starting December 1.  This year’s devotional from Presbyterians Today is very special. The Rev. Sherry Blackman, a Presbyterian pastor, chaplain and award-winning writer and poet, challenges us to fill our days of Advent with simple, practical and loving deeds that help our neighbors — calling each act of kindness a “piece of straw” for the manger to make a soft bed for the Christ child when he arrives on Christmas.  Each day of the devotional features a Scripture excerpt, meditation and prayer to deepen the Advent experience. Each week also features a space for journaling — perhaps a place where you can jot down your good deeds for the coming week.

His Name is Jesus Advent Devotional Guide for children and families will be available starting December 1. “You will name him Jesus,” the angel told both Mary and Joseph, and that is the name we still use most often when we talk about our dear Savior. The Bible tells us that Jesus has other names, too, lots of them, and all of those names have special meanings. They help us know who Jesus is and what he does for us. Children will enjoy learning a new name for Jesus each day of Advent as read the daily devotions in this booklet. When Christmas arrives, they can sing “Happy Birthday” to Jesus, the one whose name is greater than all other names. Also, grab the His Name is Jesus paper chain booklet. Each day of Advent, this colorful chain grows longer and reveals a new biblical name for our promised Savior. Each link includes a brief Advent prayer and Bible verse.

Alternative Giving Fair: This Advent season, you have a choice — give the material things of the world or give the spirit of God’s love. Consider giving a fresh look at how you give during Advent with alternative giving that will help bring cheer back to the season. Great for adults who already have everything and would appreciate knowing that the gift given to them is providing a better life for others. Great for Youth who are becoming more aware that their actions are connected to the world around them. Young people can make a difference in the world and proclaim the Good News of Christ at the same time. Great for children who need the opportunity to truly understand the meaning of giving gifts at Christmas. Give the gift of love and life to your brothers and sisters around the world. The Alternative Giving Fair will be located in the Witherspoon Room. Hours: Sundays, November 24–December 22, 9:00 –10:00 a.m. All proceeds of the fair will go to support mission projects.

Click here for Alternative Giving Instructions.

Click here to access the Alternative Giving tally sheet. 

Christmas Decorations: Poinsettias ($25 each) for use in the sanctuary may be ordered as memorial or honorary flowers. Contributions as memorials or honoraria may also be made to defray costs of wreaths for our church doors, lamp posts, sanctuary sconces, balcony garland, etc. Please submit checks made payable to First Presbyterian Church (marked Christmas Decorations) to Lacey Way at the church office. The deadline to order is Tuesday, December 3.