Upcoming Worship Schedule:

Dec. 1 – Traditional with communion

Chancel Choir at both services

Dec. 8 – Traditional

Chancel Choir at both services

Dec. 15 – Band Led with communion

8:30am Worship Team, 10:45am Sunday School Christmas Play

Dec. 22 – Service of Lessons and Carols

Chancel Choir, Bells and Lightshine at both services

Dec. 24 – Christmas Eve

3:00pm – Family-focused Candlelight Service with communion

Sunday School Choir

4:30 PM Candlelight Service with communion

Ericksen Family String Ensemble

9:00pm (New Time!) – Candlelight Service with communion

Chancel Choir

Dec. 29 –  One service at 10:00am with communion


Jan. 5 – Traditional with communion

Chancel Choir at both services

Milt Warkentien, Music Ministry Coordinator

Musings from Milt…

I always look forward to Advent/Christmas Season and I usually start listening to Christmas music around Halloween. There are things that I don’t look forward to during the Advent/Christmas season too: large crowds at stores, people going so fast they don’t take time to enjoy anything, the importance of how much one gives and gets, etc.  But, even these things can be turned to an “adventure” instead of a “chore” with the proper attitude.

I think my biggest frustration with Christmas is that by the time Christmas comes on the church calendar most people are over Christmas, which makes Advent a hard season to plan for. How does one wait on the coming of Jesus when Christmas abounds everywhere? How do I use the glorious Advent hymns and not give people a glimpse of Christmas? This year, the first Sunday of Advent is on Thanksgiving weekend.  So many people will be celebrating Thanksgiving all weekend with their families; will anyone really be tuned in to Advent? Hopefully the church decorations will help usher in the new season, but with lights, wreaths, nativities and all the rest, it still may seem more like Christmas.

The third Sunday in Advent features the Sunday School Christmas program, so there will be a glimpse of Advent, but a lot of Christmas. The same can be said for the fourth Sunday in Advent, which is a Service of Lessons and Carols, a bit of Advent, but also lot of Christmas. So with everything going on the second Sunday in Advent is the one Sunday that Advent can have everybody’s attention, but I’m guessing that most people will want to hear something “Christmassy.”

I believe it is important to take time to anticipate the birth of Jesus, in order to have Christmas be the celebration it should be. Each Sunday in Advent, I try to make sure the Advent text is enhanced by the hymns, but still give people something that reminds them of Christmas. After all, if we attend worship we should know the Christmas story. How do you explain the Christmas story to someone that is a different religion, hasn’t been brought up in the church, or just wants Christmas to be about Santa Claus? Can this be done without telling someone about Gabriel coming to Zechariah, Elizabeth and Mary? Wouldn’t it help to tell someone about Isaiah saying there will be a voice in the wilderness preparing the way for Jesus, for them to understand the meaning of Christmas.

In “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” Linus reads from the Gospel of Luke as the meaning of Christmas. My prayer is that we all take time to make ourselves ready for Linus to read from Luke. My additional prayer is that we show the Love of God all year thru. Maybe if we could all Live Christmas, the world would be more willing to see Christmas from the voice of Linus reading Luke and not just a time of year to give presents. I’m sure I’ve used the words from my song “Living Christmas Card’, but living your life showing God’s love is, for me, what being a Christian is all about.

Living Christmas Card
(Refrain)Isn’t it nice to get Christmas cards and letters in the mail? Isn’t it nice that this season we all take the time to care? It’d be so nice if the Christmas spirit lasted all year long, so take the time and live your life like you’re a living Christmas card.
1) How hard can it be to let God’s light shine? How hard can it be to love? For God sent his son, our freedom’s been won, oh why is it then so hard to love? (Refrain)
2) How hard can it be to help those in need? How hard can it be to give? For God sent his son, our freedom’s been won, oh why is it then so hard to give? (Refrain)
3) How hard can it be to live as a friend? How hard can it be to care? For God sent his son, our freedom’s been won, oh why is it then so hard to care? (Refrain)
4) How hard can it be to follow Christs lead? How hard can it be to serve? For God sent his son, our freedom’s been won, oh why is it then so hard to serve? (Refrain)

May you all have a wonderful Advent and Christmas season.