Advent 2020

Common Devotional Reading

This Advent, we have a new and exciting opportunity. We’ll be reading together a daily devotional, Why This Jubilee? by UMC pastor James Howell, and Ted will be preaching from it. Click the picture to the left to make your purchase.

This devotional focuses on beloved Christmas Carols, giving both background and theological depth to them. Ted’s sermons, as seen below, will also focus on a beloved Christmas Carol each week, taking the carol, along with scripture, as its starting point.

In this way, we will worship together, whether in person or online. We will have a common experience by reading together and hearing sermons that relate directly to the devotional.

How do you participate? Purchase the book, linked by clicking the picture above. Then, each day, do the assigned reading and listen to the linked recording below. On Sundays, come prepared to hear about one of the Christmas carols that will be featured in the coming week. On our closed Facebook group, participate in discussions facilitated by our moderator and pastor.

Here’s a schedule of the readings, a carol referenced by the daily reading, and links to listen to recordings. These recordings are often slightly different from how we often hear the carols, offering our ears and minds the opportunity to hear the carol afresh and anew. Doing so means we will hear the powerful messages of these carols in a way that can speak to our souls, deepening the meaning and our experience of this season. When a carol is listed more than once, often the recording changes. Many recordings are selections from Ted’s favorite renditions.

Also, be sure to see below schedule for additional Advent happenings this season!

DateReadingPage #Carol ReferencedHymnal #
November 29Introduction & First Week: The Place9, 13O Come, O Come, Emmanuel211
November 29 SermonJohn 1:1-5N/AO Little Town of Bethlehem230
November 30Week 1, Day 114O Little Town of Bethlehem230
December 1Week 1, Day 219O Little Town of Bethlehem, second recording230
December 2Week 1, Day 323O Come, O Come, Emmanuel211
December 3Week 1, Day 427Angels from the Realms of Glory220
December 4Week 1, Day 531Away in a Manger217
December 5Week 1, Day 635O Little Town of Bethlehem230
December 6Second Week: The Men41God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen N/A
December 6 SermonLuke 1:68-79N/AHark! The Herald Angels Sing240
December 7Week 2, Day 143O Come, O Come Emmanuel211
December 8Week 2, Day 247Angels from the Realms of Glory238
December 9Week 2, Day 351What Child Is This?219
December 10Week 2, Day 455Silent Night239
December 11Week 2, Day 560We Three Kings254
December 12Week 2, Day 664Hark! The Herald Angels Sing240
December 13Third Week: The Mother69Ave Maria, English translationN/A
December 13 SermonLuke 1:46-55N/ACome, Thou Long Expected Jesus196
December 14Week 3, Day 170Ave Maria, second recordingN/A
December 15Week 3, Day 274Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming216
December 16Week 3, Day 378Silent Night, second recording239
December 17Week 3, Day 483In the Bleak Midwinter221
December 18Week 3, Day 588Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming216
December 19Week 3, Day 692Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus196
December 20Fourth Week: The Child & Week 4, Day 697, 120Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus, second recording & It Came Upon a Midnight Clear196, 218
December 20 SermonLuke 1:26-38N/ASilent Night239
December 21Week 4, Day 199Hark, the Herald Angels Sing, second recording240
December 22Week 4, Day 2103O Come, All Ye Faithful234
December 23Week 4, Day 3107O Holy NightN/A
December 24Week 4, Day 4111O Holy Night, second recordingN/A
December 24 SermonLuke 2:1-20N/AJoy to the World246
December 25Week 4, Day 5120Silent Night, second recording239

Additional Worship Opportunities

Family Chrismon Tree Decorating | Sunday, November 22, 2020 at 2:00 p.m.
Join us again for a festive, kid- and family-friendly, time of decorating the Chrismon Tree for the season! We’ll explain the different symbols as we decorate, sing a couple of songs, and have a magical evening of fellowship.

Blue Christmas: A Healing Service Wednesday, December 9, 2020 at 6:00 p.m.
For when all is not merry and bright. Just as we did late in August of this year, we will offer a healing service with the anointing of oil for the concerns, losses, and difficulties that often hurt more during the Christmas season. Register here.

Children’s Play and Christmas Party | Sunday, December 13, 2020 at 4:30 p.m.
Coming December 13, join us for A Socially Distant Christmas, a play put on by our children and youth. This ironic tale will lift your spirits as we live into an odd Christmas season. Immediately following the play, we’ll have hot cocoa outside and maybe a Zoom call from the North Pole!

The festivities begin at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, December 13, with the play live-streamed to Facebook. If desiring to attend in person, be sure to register ahead of time as space is limited. Family members of children will have priority in registration.

Christmas Eve | Three Opportunities

  • Outdoor Service: 3:00 p.m., Law Soccer Field, featuring communion
  • Indoor Service: 5:00 p.m., Sanctuary, featuring candlelight singing
  • Online Service: 5:00 p.m. Livestream of the Indoor Service

Outdoor Service Details | 3:00 p.m., Law Soccer Field, 5750 Creighton St.
The Outdoor Service will be picnic-style, with families encouraged to bring blankets and/or chairs to come and enjoy worship together. We’ll sing many carols and enjoy sharing in communion. Families are asked to sit six feet apart from each other but other social distance protocols are not required. The service will feature much singing, a sermon, sharing in communion, and last about an hour.

Indoor Service Details | 5:00 p.m., Eastman FUMC Sanctuary, 5324 Anson Ave.
The Indoor Service will be much like our traditional Christmas Eve service, featuring a traditional worship elements, a sermon, and candlelight singing at the end. Please note that it will not include as many carols nor communion this year to follow pandemic safety measures. This service will follow the same protocols as our regular worship, so please register early as space is limited.

Online Service | Streaming Live on Facebook, EFUMC FB Page
The Online Service will stream the traditional service. If you plan to join us from home, we hope you will find a candle and light it yourself as we move to the candlelight singing portion