Advent 2: Advent Peace

Jill Ver SteegLiturgical Year, Prayer, Spiritual Practices

We blow out the candle of confrontation and light the candle of peace. Lectionary Texts: Isaiah 40:1-11, Mark 1:1-8 The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. This is Mark’s way of saying “Genesis.” This is the genesis of all things. Even as Genesis chapter one, verse one, took us out into the wastes of formless void and primordial chaos before God spoke and created a good world, so Mark … Read More

Advent 1: Advent Hope

Jen deCombeLiturgical Year, Prayer, Spiritual Practices

First Sunday of Advent: We blow out the candle of despair and in its place we light the candle of hope. Lectionary Readings: Isaiah 64:1-9, Mark 13:24-37 This year’s first Gospel reading of the Advent season comes as a shock to many of us. Unlike the images of Christmas that surround us, there are no joyful angels shining in the sky or three wise men bearing gifts. The only stars in this reading are the … Read More

Hanging of the Greens

Pressley CoxLiturgical Year

Growing up, I had never heard of a “Hanging of the Greens” service.  Preparing the sanctuary for Christmas was done by a group of women one Saturday morning.  The bulletin announcement the next day would be a thank you to those who “decorated” the church.  It wasn’t until seminary, that I began to understand the full theological meaning of preparing the sanctuary for the liturgical season of Advent and Christmas.  A Hanging of the Greens … Read More

Connecting Worship and Learning: Faith Development on Two Fronts

Carol WehrheimLiturgical Year

The Kim family arrived in the sanctuary just as the Call to Worship began. The girls in first and fourth grades sat with their parents until the storyteller called children forward for the Bible story that would be the focus of their Sunday school lesson. Mom knew what it was because she explored it with other parents while the girls were in choir rehearsal on Wednesday. Then they would, as one parent said, “Have a … Read More