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Rev. John Shaver-Home For Christmas: Joy


10:30 am Order of WorshipAnnouncements


“Music… will help dissolve your perplexities and purify your character and sensibilities, and in time of care and sorrow, will keep a fountain of joy alive in you.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer

As I think about the upcoming third Sunday in Advent, it has always been a special time. I remember my Sunday school friends and I would wait with great anticipation for the pink candle on the Advent wreath to be lit. At that stage of life, it meant Christmas and winter break would soon be here!

In one of my seminary classes I heard of a much deeper understanding of the “pink candle” Sunday, this Sunday has a special name: “Gaudete” Sunday. The traditions surrounding this Sunday go back as far as the 4th or 5th century, as does the Season of Advent itself.  Advent, our preparation for Christmas, was originally a 40-day penitential season, like Lent. In fact, since it used to begin on November 12th, it was called “St. Martin’s Lent.” “Gaudete Sunday” was the Advent counterpart to “Laetare Sunday,” which marked the mid-point in Lent.

The word “Gaudete” is Latin for “Rejoice.” In times when the focus of our anticipation is often full of feelings of worry, fear, and doubt this celebration is a reminder that God, who loves us, will be with us in all that we are facing.

I hope you’ll make it a priority to be with us this Gaudete – Sunday of Joy to celebrate the many gifts of God. Here’s a quick reminder of all that will be happening Sunday:

8 AM Worship in the Chapel with Communion

9 AM Worship in the Sanctuary – Joyful Worship – Children’s Pageant with Choir and Trinity Bells

10:30 AM Worship in the Sanctuary – Traditional Advent Worship with Choir and Trinity Bells

10 AM to11:30 Christmas Potluck Brunch – Bring your favorite breakfast food to share during Fellowship Time

4 PM – Christmas Concert (A “don’t miss” 2017 Concert – Bring a Friend)!

See you on campus this weekend! Grace, Peace, and Joy,



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