(Staying) Home for the Holidays
Let us not become weary in doing good,
for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
Galatians 6:9 (NIV)
The German government released an amusing and encouraging ad campaign last week. An elderly man from the future is sharing about his heroism as a 22-year-old engineering student in the winter of 2020. While he wanted to go out and socialize, he understood he had a part to play. Instead, they were couch potatoes, “lazy as raccoons,” and as such, heroes of the pandemic.
I don’t know how, but I still ended up with a 20-pound turkey for tomorrow. Our plans changed, like most of yours have, and as a result, I’ll be eating leftover turkey until we ring in 2021. But we can still be grateful for the delicious meal, for Facetiming family and friends, and the secure knowledge that we won’t be unwittingly sickening people we love and care about.
There is much to be thankful for every year, even this year. There is even much to be hopeful for in the year to come. I truly believe these holidays will be a one-off, a once-in-a-lifetime anomaly that we, like those who lived through the 1918 Pandemic, will never really want to talk about again as we return to overstuffed holidays, busy-ness, packed gatherings, and all the rest.
For this year, though… for this Thanksgiving, Advent, Christmas, and beyond: this is a time for staying home but still growing. We will worship together on Facebook. If you have read this far, you are perfect to share a video prayer, reading of Scripture, story, or more in the worship services over the next few weeks. Please volunteer to share. If you’re still reading, you should definitely join one of the Advent small groups beginning next week. No one has signed up for the 7:00pm Wednesday group, which means this could also be the perfect group for our shy or newer people to jump in. Seriously: there’s a place for you, too.
Grace, Peace, and the Happiest Thanksgiving,
Almost Christmas, a Wesleyan Advent
In his well-known sermon, the Almost Christian, Wesley preached about those whose faith was almost the full, life-giving reality of discipleship, but not quite. Christmas and the Advent before it are annual reminders of the miracle of incarnation, the God who loved and loves us so much they had to come down to earth and show us.
Bruce LaPenta and Lynn Becker (to be confirmed) will be leading a 5-week Zoom small group called “Almost Christmas.” Materials are purchased and available to pickup in the church office. Please leave a $10 donation for your copy of the Study Guide. Classes will begin next Sunday at 9:00; links will be sent out this week. There will also be a Tuesday afternoon at 2:00pm and an evening session Wednesdays at 7:00pm. We hope to see at least 20 people connect through this study – all are welcome.
Bishop’s Day on the Region – All Clergy and Laity
Bishop Schol will be meeting via Zoom with all clergy and laity to listen and understand about the state of the church and share information about GNJ mission and priorities. Laity will meet on the following dates, including later this evening:
Dec 2, 9:00 a.m.
Continuing Coffee Hour Over Zoom
Laura Newton is hosting a coffee hour this Sunday over Zoom. You can follow this link to share about your week and hear how others are doing. Trust me, if you’re shy, you will be welcomed with joy.
Worship with Flemington UMC on Facebook
Each Sunday at 10:30am, reach for your phone, tablet, computer, or other internet-connected device for a time of music, prayer, scripture, and preaching. Watching live gives the opportunity to comment in real-time with prayer requests, updates on your life, and more, but if you view the service later you can still comment and share prayer requests and experiences from your life with your church.
If you don’t have a Facebook account, you can simply visit the church’s Facebook page:
The videos are all accessible there without the need to create an account or login. If you have technical questions, please reach out.