Focused Prayer, Outreach, & Education: Light a Candle for Children Begins September 14

Focused Prayer, Outreach, & Education: Light a Candle for Children Begins September 14

Screen Shot 2014-08-28 at 5.20.44 PMThe Condon United Church of Christ will focus prayer on the needs of children in our community and world for five weeks as part of the Light a Candle for Children Prayer Vigil. The church will also be collecting items for twenty-five school kits for Church World Service, an ecumenical relief agency. Additionally, an educational workshop on raising moral children will be announced within a few weeks.

Believing that all children are, “Precious in God’s Sight,” the church invites the community to join in guided prayer. Free devotional books with daily scripture readings, reflections, and prayers are available at the church and other community locations. The daily meditations are also available by email at http://lightacandle.blogspot.com/, by Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/Pray4Children, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/LightaCandleforChildren .

Light a Candle for Children is an advocacy & prayer vigil project that invites congregations to join in Days of Prayer for Children. The vigil begins five weeks before the National Observance of Children’s Sabbath sponsored by the Children’s Defense Fund, Washington, DC. Thousands of congregations from Christian, Jewish, Muslim and other faith groups unite during Children’s Sabbath weekend to simultaneously witness for children through prayer, education, and worship.

Light a Candle for Children, a project of the Family & Children’s Ministries Partnership of the United Church of Christ and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) is a part of this witness for children. Pastor Tim Graves of Condon is the editor and project coordinator for this national emphasis within the two cooperating denominations.

Like the disaster relief kits the UCC made last year, the school kits for Church World Service are used by the ecumenical relief agency to respond quickly to disasters in the United States and around the world. According to CWS, “School Kits give children in impoverished schools, refugee camps, or other difficult settings some of the basic tools for learning.” Thirty-seven Christian denominations including the United Church of Christ are members of Church World Service.

Visit http:///www.CondonUCC.org or http://www.Facebook.com/CondonUCC for more information. Call Rev. Tim Graves at 541-256-0565 or email CondonUCC@gmail.com if you have questions.

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Hanging of the Greens, Karaoke Features of the Season at Condon UCC

The United Church of Christ in Condon begins Advent with a Hanging of the Greens service at 10:30 on the first of December. The season will culminate with Christmas Karoake and a candlelight service on Christmas Eve.

Advent is the Christian season leading up to Christmas which begins four Sundays before Christmas. The ancient season of Advent focuses on spiritual preparation for Christmas.

“Chasing the perfect gift is not what the Advent season is all about. It is about preparing our hearts and minds for the birth of the one who embodies the divine love,” explains Pastor Tim Graves of the local UCC.

When worshipers arrive for service on the first, the sanctuary will be undecorated. By the end of the Hanging of the Greens service, the sanctuary will be decked out for the holidays. The service will feature short readings from scripture, about the various types of decorations, and singing of hymns and carols.

Besides the Hanging of the Greens service on the first, the Condon UCC will have special features in Sunday worship each week of Advent including the lighting of the advent candles, telling of a Children Worship & Wonder story, and on at least one Sunday, liturgical dance.

A Longest Night service, sometimes called Blue Christmas, will be held on Friday, December 20 at 6:30 p.m. This service will provide recognition that despite cultural expectations the time leading up to Christmas is not always filled with joy. Many struggle during this time of year with depression and other feelings of grief and loss. The Longest Night service, timed to nearly coincide with the longest night of the year, is a service of recognition of those feelings of darkness and the yearning for healing.

Christmas Karaoke will begin at 6:00 p.m. on Christmas Eve in the Fellowship Hall of the church. Community members and others can listen to others sing or give the Karoake machine a whirl themselves. The UCC will provide refreshments and a roaring fire.

Following Christmas Karaoke will be a candlelight service at eight. The service will speak to the joy of the birth of the Christ child and conclude with candles and a living nativity.

“We encourage those participating in the Karaoke to join us for the candlelight service but participation in one does not imply participation in the other. Those who worship at other churches are welcome to join us for singing and food before leaving for their own houses of worship,” says Graves.