Advent Music Service & Brunch Buffet

Sunday, December 9  ~ 10:30am Worship; 11:30am  Brunch
Celebrate the Second Sunday of Advent with Us!

We’ll be lighting the Candle of Love!Special Music during Worship with the Chancel Choir,  Handbells Choir, and  Children’s Choir plus Vocal and Instrumental Soloists.

Advent Breakfast Brunch following Worship in Wesley Hall.

ALL ARE WELCOME!

An Advent Letter from Pastor Joe

See, God, I have come to do your will, O God.

Hebrews 10:7

Dear Brothers and Sisters:

Grace and Peace to you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

During this Advent/Christmas/Epiphany Season, I will focus my attention on the epistle lessons of the New Testament.  Don’t worry.  We will read the traditional stories about Jesus’ birth (the annunciation, the birth, and the coming of the Magi) on Sundays and at our Christmas Eve worship services.

The Church has appointed Advent as a time to reflect on the Second Coming of Jesus which includes remembering his “First Coming” in the manger in Bethlehem.  Familiar themes include watchfulness, repentance, obedience, and restoration.

Over the millennia, the Church has adjusted its expectation of the Second Coming of Jesus.  The Apostle Paul was forced to do this as the first generation of Christians in his churches began dying.  But Paul never gave up on his hope of the Second Coming.

During Advent, we will be reading from two of the Pauline epistles and the epistle to the Hebrews.  These epistles encourage Christians like us – who are living between the two Advents of Jesus.  In the scant verses the lectionary provides us, many new themes emerge.  However there are three we will focus on:

FIRST ~ Restoring One Another’s Faith

This year has brought many changes to the lives of the congregation: job losses, medical diagnoses, and unexpected deaths.  As Americans, we consider faith a fairly private matter.  Paul did not.  As a pharisaic Jew, he felt Christians were obligated to assist each other in the faith.  Who at Church would you be willing to discuss your faith with and to receive encouragement from?

SECOND ~ Expressing Gratitude for Those Who Share in the Labor of the Gospel

Did you know that Elmhurst has over 30 Christian Communities?  During Advent, the worship committee will provide cards addressed to each of those communities.  They encourage you to take one card and write a note of appreciation and gratitude for those laboring in the vineyard with us.

THIRD ~ Following Jesus by Doing God’s Will

The countdown to Christmas has begun. Many of you probably have compiled your to- do lists and have begun checking them off.  Perhaps we could add this line to our Christmas list: follow Jesus by doing God’s will. The writer of Hebrews encourages us to ask how we ourselves are revealing our faith.

During this Advent may we affirm with Jesus and with one another:

See, God, I have come to do your will.

Christ’s Servant,

Worship in September

When we think about the letter of James, we focus on the oft quoted, Faith without works is dead.

 

While this is an important message, James has more to say in this letter of 108 verses which was written to first century Christians.

James encourages each of them to be a friend of God as Abraham was.  Join this September exploration of the Epistle of James to re-discover how we can be friends of God.

Sept. 2      James and Wisdom James 1:17-27

Sept. 9      Partiality James 2:1-17

Sept. 16    Speech James 3:1-12

Sept. 23   Two Wisdoms James 3:13-4:8

Sept. 30   Prayer of Faith James 5:13-20

 

KICK-OFF the 2018-2019 Program Year**: GRACE GATHERING on August 19

FIRST CHURCH OPEN HOUSE  

COME ONE – COME ALL

9:15-10:15 am     All-Church Breakfast

Fun Activities for ALL Ages.  Please join us!  Newcomers are especially welcome.  Here’s a great opportunity to discover all the ways you can join in the First Church initiative to Strengthen & Grow:

Learning

Worshiping

Connecting

Serving

10:30-11:30 am     Sunday Morning Worship returns to Regular 10:30 Time!

Chancel Choir returns!

11:30-12:30 am     Fellowship in Wesley Hall

 

Regular Sunday Morning Schedule resumes August 26, 2018

  • Education Time for Adults, Children, & Youth from 9:15 to 10:15 am
  • Sunday Morning Worship from 10:30 to 11:30 am with Fellowship following the service

PLEASE NOTE:  ** First  Church Program Year has been changed to correspond with the Elmhurst Community District 205 School Calendar for 2018-2019.       https://www.elmhurst205.org/events_calendar

Summer Sermon Series on THE PARABLES continues through August 12

Jesus says “I will open my mouth in parables.  I will proclaim what has been hidden since the foundation of the world.” Matthew 13:35

Beginning Sunday, July 8,  rediscover the parables of Jesus with Reverend Joseph Johnson for a Six-Week Summer Series.  Worship is at 9:30 am.