As the sun sets on Thanksgiving with full stomachs and grateful hearts, we move towards the first Sunday in the season of Advent and begin a season of waiting for the coming of the Messiah. Advent is the first season in the Christian year and is a season of waiting expectantly for God to fulfill God’s promise. It is a season in which we look for Christ to be reborn not only spiritually in our hearts but also a time in which we watch and prepare for his coming again and claim his final reign.
Advent, like the season of Lent, is a season of prayer, worship, study, service and reflection. It is an inward journey that strengthens and deepens our relationship with God in order to be the living reflection of the God’s incarnation in the person of Jesus Christ. It is a time in which the body of Christ, the Church, should truly reflect the deep and hopeful meaning of Immanuel, God with us.
FUMC Allen marks Advent in several ways. We are also encouraged to adopt personal and family disciplines that move us even closer to God and redirect our focus away from the shiny gods of the world toward the rich and joyful presence of God in our lives. FUMC marks advent at least in part in the following ways:
- Decorating our church with garland, wreaths, Chrismon trees with lights, and holly all pointing towards the light of Christ and the gift of eternal life made possible through his sacrifice on the cross.
- Lighting of the Advent candle each week during worship. The circular wreath symbolizes God’s never-ending love as revealed in Jesus Christ. Each week and candle is lit reminding us that the light of Christ is breaking through the darkness as we move towards the celebration of his birth. The candles remind us of the hope, love, joy and peace that are the true gifts of Advent and Christmas.
- Singing of Advent hymns. In December it seems we are eager to get right to the singing of our beloved Christmas carols. In the church, we attempt to delay the singing of the carols in order to give voice to the beautiful Advent hymns that are filled with the rich words of the prophets that foretell Christ’s coming. These hymns help to create a sense of anticipation, expectation, and longing for only that which God can bring and give in Jesus.
- Decorating the sanctuary with poinsettias and bags of food. Red poinsettias have long decorated many sanctuaries as a way of representing the bloodshed for our salvation. In more recent years we have added bags of food as an additional and alternate gift that can be given to hungry neighbors who before they are able to hear the good news of Christmas benefit from the nourishment of food. The gifts of poinsettias and bags of food are a long honored tradition wherein people remember the lives of loved ones who are gone but not forgotten and honor the love and gift of companions.
Be on the lookout each week in our church’s news release to learn about many opportunities to share in the Advent experience. It is the intension of our members and staff to embrace all generations in a life changing Christian journey to change the world throughout the season of Advent in order to experience a most joyful Christmas.
If you’d like to learn more about Advent and discover meaning ways to honor the season, please visit the United Methodist Church’s website:
May God grant each of you and the all the people of FUMC Allen, a beautiful Advent season filled with joyful waiting and free of worldly distractions.
First Sunday of Advent: November 29, 2015
Visit the Give Shoppe through December 20 in the West Entry to shop for life-changing gifts.
Friday, December 4, 2015
City of Allen Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony
6:30pm-8:00pm Allen Civic Plaza
301 Century Pkwy, Allen, Tx 75013
Free admission. Tree Lighting at 7:15pm.
Santa visits, holiday treats, fireworks, games, and crafts
Second Sunday of Advent December 6, 2015
Chrismon Activity 9:30am-12:00pm
Celebrate the Advent season with your church family as we come together to make
Chrismons–one to keep and one to give away– in the FUMC Allen gym.
We’ll have food, drink, and music to bring in the season.
Children, youth, and adult Sunday school classes will not meet.
Women in Missions Christmas Luncheon
12:15pm FUMC Allen Gym
The Women in Missions provide the entrée; just bring a side dish or dessert.
Contact Ruth Swingle, RuthS@fumcallen.org.
Rotary Club Christmas Parade 2:00pm Downtown Allen
Come walk with your FUMC Allen family and help the Grinch and his friends have a Merry Christmas.
To walk in the parade, be parked by 1:30pm and meet us no later than 1:45pm.
All children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult.
Saturday, December 12, 2015
APT G: A Place To Go 10th Anniversary Open House
5:00pm Fellowship Hall/Youth Wing
Anyone who has attended in the past as a guest or a volunteer,
or interested in learning more about this program is invited to come and join our celebration.
We will have food, door prizes, fellowship, and memories of past events.
Contact Rev. Maxie Moore, MaxieM@fumcallen.org.
Third Sunday of Advent December 13, 2015
Afternoon of Carols 4:00pm-6:00pm
Meet in Fellowship Hall at 4:00pm when we’ll load up the bus and travel
to nursing homes and assisted living facilities in our community!
Register on our website before December 10 to reserve your seat or contact Eric Pugh.
Fourth Sunday of Advent December 20, 2015
Vivaldi’s Gloria 8:15am and 9:30am Chancel Choir
Lessons & Carols 11:00am Resonate Praise Team
Christmas Eve December 24, 2015
Family Service 4:00pm
Traditional Service 6:00pm
Contemporary Service 8:00pm
Handbell Concert 10:30pm
Christmas Vigil with Communion 11:00pm
Friday, December 25 & Monday, December 28
Merry Christmas: Church Office Closed
New Year’s Eve December 31, 2015
Church Office Closes at Noon
Watch Night Service 7:00pm Upper Room Chapel