The Condon United Church of Christ announced special music, weekly worship, Bible Study, and special services for Advent, the start of the Christian calendar and the season of preparation leading to Christmas. The focus of services and studies will be “Searching”, according to Rev. Tim Graves, pastor of the United Church of Christ.
“All of us are on our own spiritual journeys with the Divine One,” explained Rev. Graves. “Our theme of Searching reflects this truth about human existence during this season of preparation for Christmas.”
Advent at the UCC begins Sunday, November 30 with a Hanging of the Greens worship service featuring special music by local artist and musician Dan Robinson. Scripture readings, Advent and Christmas hymns, prayer, and multimedia are interspersed with decorating the sanctuary.
“At the start of a Hanging of the Greens service, the sanctuary is bare. By the end of the service it is decked out in seasonal decorations and liturgical colors,” said Rev. Graves.
Each Sunday morning, as is the practice at the local UCC, begins with Bible study at 9:15 and worship at 10:30. The traditional themes of hope, peace, joy, and love will be incorporated into the searching theme on each of the four Sundays leading to Christmas.
The second Sunday of Advent, December 6, will feature special music by Russell Thompson, grandson of Patti and Dale Thompson.
A Longest Night service will be Sunday evening December 21 at 5:00 p.m. Sometimes called Blue Christmas, many Christian churches now recognize the sadness inherent in the Christmas season for many people.
“The service affirms that not everyone is as happy as our culture tells us we should be at this time of the year,” says Rev. Graves. “The holidays, especially Christmas, are often times when people feel the loss of loved ones, hopes, and dreams. Those searching for work or living in poverty often feel the pressures of spending money they do not have. Even those who appear to have it all, often struggle with depression or blue feelings as the long nights of winter press on.”
The traditional candlelight Christmas Eve service will be at 8:00 p.m. on December 24.