The United Methodist Church of Enfield
Thursday, December 03, 2020
Open Hearts. Open Minds. Open Doors.

 

 

 

November 19, 2020

 

To the people of God in Enfield and beyond –

 

On November 29, we begin a new year on the church’s calendar that always begins with Advent.  During this special season, we prepare for the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ even as we anticipate in trust the day that he will come again.  It’s been a different year, it’s going to be a different Advent.  Yet rather than see the differences as loss, we can see the differences giving us deeper insight into the meaning of the birth of Jesus for our lives and the life of the world.

 

Jesus was born into a world filled with chaos.  The Roman army occupied the land of Israel.  The Israelites filled with despair about the land God had promised to them, did not look to the future with hope.  Nothing at the time of Jesus’ birth would lead one to think that the world suddenly became filled with peace and love and hope and joy.  This is the world into which Jesus was born, and through which his teachings would challenge people, and call for transformation. The words of an unknown Jewish poet, “I believe in the sun, even when the sun is not shining,” were scrawled on a wall during the Holocaust. Our Advent theme song, based on these words, calls us to a different response to the world through the power of narrative and music.  A response that can include transformation and reconciliation through hope, love, joy, and peace. This Advent and Christmas, let us fill the night with music and light, proclaiming the reasons why we can still “believe, even when…” we are discouraged.

 

Our Christmas Eve service will be shared in a unique way.  Given current restrictions on gathering, distancing, and other measures to keep the body of Christ safe during the pandemic, our sanctuary cannot accommodate even half of the number of people who worship on Christmas Eve. Instead, staff and volunteers will be working throughout December to put together a meaningful pre-recorded service. Lynne Tracy-Thim, the choir and soloists are practicing music, Pastor Janet will be preparing her sermon, and we need you to participate.

 

One of the most cherished moments in a Christmas Eve service is at the end, when we share the light of Christ through the lighting of candles, while we sing “Silent Night.”  Since we can’t pass the light of Christ in person, we will be sharing the light of Christ through the magic of technology.  Christmas Eve candles will be given out on November 21 at the Cider & Pie Social, after worship on November 22 and November 29, and in some cases through the mail.  People can film themselves lighting the candle from left to right, then the videos will be knit together so it will look like the light is passing from one person to another.  Details on how to do this are included in “Notes from the Bell Tower.”   More information on how to watch this very special Christmas Eve service will be available at a later date.

 

Remember – through it all, is Christ, everyday in every place.  Thanks be to God. 

 

Peace & grace,

Pastor Janet