EXPERIENCE ADVENT AT CHRIST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
December 4, 10 am -2 pm: Visit the Christmas Mission Market to support mission work (and stock up on goodies at the bake sale!) from 10 am-2 pm.
December 5th: Join us for our Children’s Service on the second Sunday in Advent.
December 18, 9 am: Help construct our live nativity scene!
December 18, 6-8 pm: Come visit our version of Bethlehem.
December 21, 7 pm: The Longest Night Service, is a time for reflection, healing, and renewal. Whether you are mourning a loss or craving a feeling of wholeness in general.
Christmas Eve December 24th, 5:30 pm Our candlelight service begins at 5:30 pm.
Overview from Dr. Marcia McFee
As I write this in August 2021, we are reeling from prolonged uncertainty and instability brought on by the pandemic. In the United States alone, millions lost their jobs and are affected by whether or not landlords will evict them from their homes for failure to pay rent. A staggering number of families are food insecure for the first time in their lives. And those who were already on the brink are even less sure how to survive. And we are all exhausted in some way. Even if it is decision-fatigue.
We have problems to address. And so did the Holy Family that night. An oppressive regime had demanded everyone upend their lives and hightail it to their home towns to register for the census–for tax purposes, likely. Mary was on the verge of giving birth and the AirBnB app just wasn’t an option. Whether they got to town late or for some other reason, they had a housing problem that night.
The Innkeeper is a figure of our imaginations. Not referenced in the sacred texts, we assume that since Luke said there was an “inn,” then there must have been an “innkeeper.” Often our stories cast him in a negative light, someone who banished a pregnant woman to where the animals were kept. But what if, since we are engaging our imaginations anyway, what if he was truly an entrepreneur? Someone who saw a problem and thought, literally, “outside the box” to solve the problem of where Mary could have her child? Instead of thinking “there’s nowhere,” he said to himself first, “there has to be somewhere.”
This worship series was inspired by churches who are asking these kinds of questions. I was honored this year to be the recipient of a Lilly Grant that allowed me to interview churches that are seeking to transform their property assets into solutions for various community needs and strengthen their own viability in the process. Some are offering affordable office space to non-profits that work to alleviate society’s problems, some are creating affordable housing, some after-school help, some food distribution. No one church can solve everything, but each one can do something. Just like the innkeeper. Housing the holy work of Divine Love can happen in many ways.
And so I invite you to spend this Advent and Christmas seeing your church’s situation in a different light... the light of the Star of Bethlehem that shone that night on an unlikely house for the holy–a stable. It doesn’t matter what state your church is in at the moment (and we are all feeling a bit uncertain about that at the moment). The Light of Christ is shining on you, inviting you to become a beacon of hope to others. What one thing could you do (or add to what you already do) that could alleviate someone’s suffering? And how could this series inspire you to think bigger and beyond this holy-day season with purposeful solutions for your community housed in your church? We are called to “make room” in our inns–to create a welcoming space for the flourishing of humanity. That’s what the inn, the stable, the manger, became that night.