Entryway to a Sacred Christmas

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The more quiet and reflective Season of Advent that Christians observe each year coincides – and contrasts in many ways – with the generally frenzied and consumption-focused season of holiday preparation for a secular Christmas. This, itself, makes Christians countercultural in the face of generally prevailing commercial values and pressures. This year, we are invited to look at the coming Christ Child as a clear call to engage in doing justice and, in the process, opposing the very Empire that drives the large commercial and secular celebration around us. In these seasons of Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany, we will ponder the many “isms” of Empire, and are encouraged to place ourselves in a very different position – squarely beside God and others among God’s people who yearn for justice and peace to be alive and evident in all relationships between God, people, and creation. The yearning for justice, as well as for peace and love, caused God to act and provide a voice and model for God’s desired realm in Jesus of Nazareth.

This is an approach that challenges our usual December perspective, traditions, and activities. It changes our preparation (Advent), our celebration (Christmas), and our perspective on all the days that follow (Season after the Epiphany). We do these things in the belief that they will contribute to a more meaningful Christmas celebration, and a life to follow that is more open to being the beloved community, Body of Christ, and redeemed creation, all under God’s – rather than any empire’s – rule.

Consider engaging with our daily devotional to create some quiet space throughout Advent. You are invited to join our Monday Morning Meditation Group for their December silent meditation day. Take a Saturday morning to serve by gleaning.

So let us enter Advent – the season of expectation and preparation to meet the Holy One and participate in turning empire on its head.

Day of Silent Meditation

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The Monday morning meditation group will hold it’s next Day of Silent Meditation on Monday, December 15th, from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Bring lunch, drinks and a jacket. Requested donation is $20. Call Nancy Lydon at 632-5040 if you have questions.

Painting the Stars

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Beginning Thursday evening, January 8th, at 7:00 PM we will begin a new 7-week series of teachings and discussions on science, religion, and evolving faith. The study, facilitated by Pastor Jason and featuring over a dozen leading theologians and progressive thinkers, celebrates the communion of science and faith. Each session will include a 20 minute video and guided conversation. This will be a great opportunity to invite friends and family who have a hard time reconciling scientific and spiritual knowledge. There will be a $15.00 for materials.

Painting the Stars Trailer from Living the Questions on Vimeo.

Evening of Worship and Prayer November

glennonsmallYou are invited to join us as we begin a new tradition at First Congregational United Church of Christ. Each month on the third Wednesday we will gather together to worship and pray. We will sing hymns and simple songs, engage a series of teachings on “The Art and Practice of Prayer,” and lift up one another and our world in prayer. Let’s take the opportunity to turn our hearts toward God and practice together living in His presence.

On Wednesday, November 19th at 6:30 PM,  we come together to pray and sing and hear a brief teaching on “Pray Ceaselessly” by author and blogger Glennon Doyle Melton, a member of Naples United Church of Christ who writes at momastery.com.

Evening of Worship and Prayer October

Fr-Richard-RohrYou are invited to join us as we begin a new tradition at First Congregational United Church of Christ. Each month on the third Wednesday we will gather together to worship and pray. We will sing hymns and simple songs, engage a series of teachings on “The Art and Practice of Prayer,” and lift up one another and our world in prayer. Let’s take the opportunity to turn our hearts toward God and practice together living in His presence.

On Wednesday, October 15th at 6:30 PM,  we come together to pray and sing and hear a brief teaching on “Prayer and Surrender” by Franciscan priest and spiritual teacher, Father Richard Rohr.