Advent

Those Who Dream ... Advent 2020

When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream. - Psalm 126

What does it look like to live as those who dream? The prophets, the psalmists, John the Baptist, Mary, Elizabeth, Joseph, Simeon, Anna, the shepherds and the Magi—they were all dreamers. They received, discovered, and responded to God’s dreams for the world.

In Advent, we will step into the mystery and awe of God’s dreams and pray they shape our reality. This theme is for the dreamers in all of us—those who dream of a deeper connection with God and those who dream of a better world. It’s for those who dream of comfort and for those who have given up on their dreams. It’s for those whose dreams have been crushed and for those who show us that dreams take time. Join us, November 29 through Epiphany, as we dream alongside prophets and angels, Mary and the Magi. Join us as we seek and sow God’s dreams for our world.

Worship in December

Advent Taizé Prayer Service

Tuesday, December 1, 7:00 p.m. - All are welcome at this service of Hope and Reconciliation for Advent, available on YouTube and Facebook.

Longest Night Worship

Sunday, December 20, 7:00 p.m. - We know the darkness — both literal and figurative – that comes around the Winter Solstice. For those grieving, uncertain, facing illness, or feeling melancholy during the holidays, this season is especially hard. This service speaks to the sadness we feel. Invite your heavy-laden friends and neighbors to tune in.

Christmas Eve Worship Services

Three virtual services are offered this year to allow us to celebrate Christ’s birth together in spirit!

Nativity Worship Service - 1:00 p.m. - Tune in for a fresh retelling of the birth of Jesus as we premier Illustrated Ministry’s “Do Not Be Afraid” virtual Christmas pageant. As in past years, First Pres children and youth are the star-bearers, angels, shepherds, and magi and virtual backdrops make the story come alive! The worship service centers on the narratives surrounding Jesus’ birth from the gospels of Matthew and Luke.

Christmas Eve Service of Lessons & Carols - 5:00 p.m. - Experience the story of Christmas through First Pres’ traditional presentation of scripture readings and music.

A Christmas Eve Fireside Service - 11:00 p.m. - As the hour approaches midnight, the traditional hour of Christ’s birth, join Revs. Melissa Anne Rogers and Rick Spalding in the unfolding mystery and majesty of God’s incarnation - a simple, reflective service by the fireside with a handful of beloved carols, the reading of Luke’s Christmas Story, a meditation and a few heartfelt prayers for an aching, hopeful world.

Sunday, December 27 Worship - 9:30 a.m.

Celebrate the coming of Christ into the world in worship. Rev. Amy Ruhf is preaching.

Get Into the Spirit with Virtual Christmas Carols

Available on December 10 - Want something to make you feel more “Christmasy?”  Visit our "Chancel Choir Christmas Carols” Playlist on YouTube to hear the Chancel Choir sing Christmas Carols!

Email Daily Devotionals

Date: Everyday starting December 1 - December 25
Our 2020 Advent Email Devotional is based on our upcoming Advent theme, “Those Who Dream…” Receive daily email devotions written by members and staff during Advent. Sign up to receive them at www.firstpresbyterian.org or contact the Church Office.

Sign up for the Advent Daily Devotional Email

2020 Story Slam - December 13, 7:00 p.m.

Watch our Story Slam 2020 and hear stories of dreams ... dreams that came true, that didn’t happen as expected, were dashed — or something else! These stories will move you, challenge you or charm you. Peggy Hodgson, Callie Feyen, Gail Grady, and several youth will share. Join us for the Zoom reception afterwards, (link coming soon).

Honor and Remember by Giving a Poinsettia

Give a poinsettia to beautify worship on December 20 and 24 in honor or memory of a loved one. Poinsettias are $20 and can be ordered at https://firstpresbyterian.wufoo.com/forms/poinsettias-2020/ or by calling the Church Office until noon on Friday, December 11. After worship on December 20, poinsettias will be delivered to those grieving or shut-in in our congregation.

Donate a Poinsettia

Stroll the First Pres’ Sanctuary

At long last, we welcome you home on Christmas Eve! You are invited to prayerfully and joyfully stroll through the Sanctuary on December 24, Christmas Eve, between 3:30 and 5:00 p.m. Luminaria welcome you outside while inside you will be greeted by the beautiful music of the Sanctus Ringers and organ. Enjoy a live nativity and poinsettias will fill the Chancel. You will be invited to make a Christmas Eve donation to CEPAD, a Christian organization working with poor communities in Nicaragua to support recovery in Nicaragua after Hurricane Eta. As you exit, light a candle to take the light of Christ out into the world. At 5:00 p.m. the final Advent tree – the Christ Tree – will be lighted. All participants must wear masks and remain socially distanced.