This holiday season is going to be a challenging one for many of us. We want to be with family and we can’t. We want to have our familiar beloved traditions but are worried we won’t be able to. Christmas is a time of hope and joy, which we so much need in this year. We have many wonderful Redeemer traditions in Advent and Christmas. I want to share with you where we are in our planning on them, so you can give us your thoughts and feedback. We really want Christmas to be a joyful, celebratory time for our church family. Please let me know how we can make your Christmas special this year.
Here’s where we are at the moment:
November 29: Advent begins!
Normally we celebrate with a parish Advent wreath making activity. We’re still working on whether this could be an in-person outdoor activity, but in any case, we will definitely help get wreath materials to you and share ideas on how to make a wreath at home. You will want a wreath so you can light it each Sunday during worship!
This year, Cara Kalf has created a parish Advent Calendar with suggestions for observing the Advent season. It will be shared in the coming weeks with ideas for at-home daily prayers and devotions.
December 5: Cookies & Carols Party
We are hoping this might be an online event for children, including awards given for decorated cookies made at home, a sing-along, and stories from St. Nicholas. Cara Kalf could use a few volunteers to help her organize.
December 6, 13, and 20
The Adult Formation committee (Rev. Frank, Deb Jacoby-Twigg, Sarah Klein, Evelyn Hausslein, and Kathleen Mirani) is working on an Adult Forum series for Advent. Stay tuned for more details!
December 12 and 13: Advent Lessons & Carols
This beautiful service, offered by our Adult Choir, will be online this year. The lessons and carols tell the story of the coming Christ, and remind us, as the nights get darker, that the light will return. Traditionally it is an evening service as we light more and more candles as the sun sets and darkness falls. It’s not possible to sing in real-time together online, due to the timing delays of the internet, but the choir is already working on recording their parts to be digitally combined for this worship service.
The service will be live-streamed from the Sanctuary on Saturday, December 12 at 4 p.m. The service will be re-played on Sunday morning December 13 at 9:30 a.m. You can watch it live on Saturday night, or on Sunday morning as our main worship service that day. You may want to have seven candles on hand at home so you can light them along with our acolytes and readers.
December 17: Service of Healing and Remembrance.
This service is for all those for whom Christmas might be a difficult time due to the loss of a loved one or any reason. Sometimes we feel forced to be “jolly” and joyful at Christmas when we feel just the opposite. This service acknowledges our griefs and losses and offers prayers for healing and hope. This year, this service will be held on Zoom with Rev. Frank leading from the Sanctuary. Zoom will provide an intimate, private setting where participants can share freely without being live on the internet. It will not be recorded or on the website or Facebook. A Zoom link will be shared in the newsletter the week prior.
Grow Clinic Party
The Grow Clinic may not be able to hold their holiday party in person this year. However, we still want to share our love and support them. We hope to collect gifts that can be shared with Grow Clinic families throughout the season when they come for their appointments. Stay tuned for more news from the Mission Committee on how to participate and what is needed.
- Creche Service and Christmas Pageant
Bethany Friesner will be leading us in creating a video Christmas Pageant. Please contact Rev. Kate if your child would like to participate. We need to get an early start so there is time for video editing. The pageant will be combined with sing-along Christmas carols and simple prayers and a children’s message from Rev. Frank to create a short, child-friendly Christmas service. This pre-recorded service will be available on the church website anytime on December 24, so you can view it whenever it is best for your family.
- Christmas Eve Service
Our main service of Christmas Eve will be live-streamed from the Sanctuary at 8 p.m. onto the website and Facebook. Special music from the choir and a sermon from Rev. Kate will be part of this Holy Eucharist to celebrate the birth of Christ.
Although our planning has begun, it is not yet finished. If you have suggestions, ideas, or would like to get involved in any of these events please let me know. We truly want to make Christmas as special as it can be this year. The hope and joy that Christmas brings are worth celebrating.