Join us this Advent Season!
Worship Services Sunday at 10:25 a.m.
A Silent Advent: Do Not Be Afraid
December 3 – 24, 2023
Advent is a season of waiting, watching, pondering, and listening. As we anticipate God made flesh, we open our minds and our hearts to new possibilities. We begin to see that God doesn’t work, create, and move within the boundaries humans have created. Silence removes one of the barriers we have to intimate communion with the Divine – our need to talk. Silence creates pathways for God’s voice to find our hearts and for our hearts to hear God’s voice. Silence invites us to experience Advent counter-culturally. In stark contrast to the hustle and bustle of a high consumerism season, silence provides space to contemplate, think, and wonder. Who is God made flesh? What does this mean for us? Ultimately, what happens when we remain silent? Do we lose control? Become plagued with questions? Or, will something shift in us? A change in perspective, a firm belief in possibilities, a new hope? What are we doing here…? Let’s find out together as we enter Advent in silence.
Intergenerational (all ages) Advent experience at 9:00 a.m. on Sundays.
Advent video study (adults) at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesdays.
For information on our Children’s Church and Intertwine Youth Ministry Collective please contact the Church Office.
If you cannot make it in person, please watch us on Facebook Live: https://www.facebook.com/WilliamStreetUMC/
A NOTE FROM
Pastor Jennifer Applegate
November 24, 2023
I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart;
I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.
I will be glad and exult in you;
I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.
Psalm 9: 1-2
I woke up this morning thinking, we truly only have one life to live. How am I going to make the most of it? What is really important to me? Heading into a busy season, it gives me focus. It gives me permission to say no to the things that do not align with my values.
Throughout the pandemic, the pastors of Stonybrook took turns writing devotions for the congregation. I just re-read the Thanksgiving devotion I had written. It was painful to remember the isolation and separation. Here is how the devotion began:
I miss the easy, casual conversations we have with one another between worship services, before and after meetings, and while serving together. It is in those types of conversations where we learn fun, interesting, and illuminating facts about one another. It’s the place where lighthearted jokes are made, and remembrances of times together happen. If we were together now, I would be asking you, “What are your Thanksgiving traditions?”
I am so thankful those days are behind us. And, I’m so thankful to have gone through it, as it helped me appreciate the time we do have together. Time together is one of the most important things for me. My children are home this weekend. I’ll get to see my family. Time is precious and fleeting. I hope that I never squander it or take it for granted.
What is important to you? How are you spending this weekend? What will occupy your time and attention throughout the month of December? Will it be the unrealistic expectations society puts on us? Or, will you be intentional about focusing on what is most important to you? For me, that will be moments of silence and spending time with people I love.
I give God thanks for you, for your ministry, and for the person God has created through you. You are a gift. May we all give thanks to God, from whom all blessings flow.
P.S. I hope to see you in worship on Sunday, either in person or online at https://www.facebook.com/WilliamStreetUMC/ .
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