Advent Offerings

Advent Preaching Series

How Does a Weary World Rejoice?
As Advent comes again to a weary world, we ask, “How does a weary world rejoice?” From the opening chapters of Luke’s Gospel, we have found a few answers: we acknowledge our weariness, we find joy in connection, we allow ourselves to be amazed, we sing stories of hope, we root ourselves in ritual, and most importantly, we trust our belovedness.
Sunday, December 3 – We acknowledge our weariness
Sunday, December 10 – We find joy in community
Sunday, December 17 – We allow ourselves to be amazed
Sunday, December 24 – We sing stories of hope
December 31 – We root ourselves in ritual

Advent Workshop

Sunday, December 3 | 11:00 a.m. | Dining Room

The spirit of the festive and holiday season is upon us all! The joyous elves of First Cong are very busy preparing for this fun and creative-filled event! Join us for the FUN, JOYFUL, and MAGICAL spirit of the Advent Season on Sunday, December 3, in the Dining Room after Worship! Come enjoy the many different craft tables that will inspire you to make holiday gifts and decorations for friends and loved ones. No registration is required! 

A  boxed lunch from Jason’s Deli will be provided to all. If you would like to contribute to offset the expense, a donation basket will be available.

Advent Series Poetry Reflection

Thursday, December 7 | 6:15 p.m. | Hearth Room
Thursday, December 14 | 6:15 p.m. | Hearth Room

Join us for spiritual reflection on the Advent series poetry. Using “lectio divina,” we will explore how these sacred writings can deepen our experience of joy in a weary world. Light snacks will be available at 6:00 p.m. We will conclude before Vespers begins at 7:00 p.m.

Advent Vespers: A Time for Prayer and Reflection

Wednesday, December 7 | 7:00 p.m. | Chapel
Wednesday, December 14 | 7:00 p.m. | Chapel

Vespers is a quiet time of worship with scripture, prayer, music, and reflection in keeping with our Advent theme of finding joy in a weary world. Jim Taylor will share a reflection on December 7, and Susan Shands will share on December 14. The service will conclude with cookies and tea in the Hearth Room.

Advent Series Reflection

Sunday, December 10 | 11:00 a.m. | Hearth Room

Sunday, December 17 | 11:00 a.m. | Hearth Room

On December 10 and 17, we will further reflect and discuss the Advent series, “How does a weary world rejoice.” Join us in the Hearth Room after Worship. The logo will be the focus on December 10, and art on December 17.

What's In The Box?

A long-standing First Cong Advent tradition starts Sunday, December 3! What’s In The Box? first kicked off the start of Advent in 2002 and has been going ever since. 
On the first Sunday of Advent, a gift box is presented to the children (and adults) of First Cong. A tree ornament representing God’s love is inside the box for each child. Following the anticipation and waiting Advent represents, the box will not opened till the last Sunday (December 24) of the four-week Church holiday. 
Each week children learn clues and guess what object might be inside that represent God’s love. Previous What’s In The Box? objects have included flamingos, porcupines, pineapples, ladybugs, and even DNA! What symbol of God’s love is in the box this year?

Advent Devotional Guides

How does a weary world rejoice? An Advent Devotional

This devotional is designed to help you practice joy in a weary world. Each week offers art, reflections, poetry, and hymns. Journey through these pages at your own pace. May each week offer you rhythms for rejoicing—through acknowledging your weariness, finding joy in connection, allowing yourself to be amazed, singing stories of hope, making room, rooting yourself in ritual, and remembering your belovedness. -The Sanctified Art Creative Team

A few paper copies of the 2023 Advent Devotional Guide will be available on the bench inside the Lathrop entrance and on the table in the back of the Sanctuary or contact Associate Minister Ann Beaty for a digital copy.