Thanksgiving at Advent

Thanksgiving and Advent

 

Last Sunday evening, Advent hosted an ecumenical Kennett community Thanksgiving service.  This included a large choir drawn from the Kennett Community Choir and members of choirs from the churches in the area.  Our own Leon Spencer led the group in learning and performing the anthem for the evening.  It was amazing what a committed group of singers can do in an hour!  It was good to take the time to remember that our gifts come from God.  The Outreach Committee sponsored a reception following the service that provided an opportunity to meet members of the community.  Thank you Leon, Outreach and Pastor Nancy for your support of this event. 

 

This coming Sunday is the beginning of Advent.   This church season is designed to prepare our hearts for the coming of Jesus.  Unfortunately, this period all too often becomes a frantic time to prepare our homes, to buy, wrap and ship presents, and to bake and cook those special foods that speak to our hearts and noses of Christmas past.  All too often, our efforts lead not to a “Hallmark” holiday but to stress and burn out, to melt down, resentment and frustration.  And for many who have suffered losses, the holidays become an unbearable grief for what was and is no more. 

 

I am not suggesting that we put the traditions of Christmas aside, but that we prioritize our activities carefully.  Perhaps if we start each day with thanks to God for the new day and for the season of hope, we can approach our “to do list” with joy and wisdom.  We may want to create new traditions as we adjust to changing family situations.  And we may need to let go of traditions that are no longer contributing to the meaning of the season. 

 

Most importantly, make church attendance a priority for your family.  Participate in the intergenerational activities each Sunday in Advent.  Come to the St. Nicholas Service on December 6 (6:00pm) to learn of the origins of the legend and enjoy some fellowship.  Attend the Messiah Sing Along on December 11 (4:00pm) and let the power of the music and the story refresh your soul.  Notice all the activities involved in hosting Family Promise families at Advent for the first time.  Help your children participate in the Christmas Pageant at Crosslands on Decemeber 18.  Come to church on Christmas Eve and bring your family and friends.  With services at 3:00pm, 5:00pm and 9:00pm, there will be one that meets your family’s schedutle.  Attend the quieter Christmas morning service at 9:00am.  And celebrate the New Year with Lessons and Carols and the Eucharist at 9:00am on January 1. 

 

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given.  Rejoice greatly.”

 

 

Bryan Bente