In this First Sunday of Advent 2019, we were introduced to a new order of service, based on four elements: Expansion of our Hearts, Reception of God's Word, Transformation of our Lives and Compassion for the World. During the first segment, the green living wreath was presented along with a drama featuring Hopeful Joy, Loving Joy, Joyful Joy and Peaceful Joy. Narrator was Eldon Godfrey along with Diane Trew as cantor and Joan, Janet, Yvonne, Donna and Nancy completed the cast.
Guest speaker, Jessica Melnychuk, told us all about the organization called Closer to Home - one of the two organizations that St. Davidians are helping out this year at Christmas with the Giving Tree White Gift Sunday, Dec. 15. (see file attachment below)
The Sanctuary Choir's ministry of song helped to make this service a blessing as the Christmas season evolves. Like Rev. Peggy led us through Lent with mid week activities before Easter, so too we have mid week work through the Advent Season. This week, we have been invited to make our own living wreaths. Seehttps://bit.ly/2kh9rPZ or https://bit.ly/2lAjHTo.
ADVENT ONE - HOPEFUL JOY
The line from the hymn, Joy to the World, our worship series title, "Heaven and Nature Sing" comes from Psalm 98 and many, many other biblical references that depict the heavens above and nature on earth, glorifying God's works of wonder. Nature gives us ample metaphors that help us see our spiritual journey - the coming of spring out of the dead of winter, the growing and blossoming of things that are well tended, the beauty and diversity of all that is, and the delicate interrelationship of all things in order to sustain the survival of all things.
Each week will focus on a metaphor from nature that has developed as our Christmas traditions developed. These metaphors will help us pray in worship and pray at home. The weekly insert in the Worship Folder invites you to bring joy to your life by making a wreath and a way of praying - which is simply the act of becoming aware of our connection to God, the source of Joy, the source of Hope.
The first week of the series incorporates the symbol of the wreath. Here is some expository descriptions of the history of Christmas wreathes from the Why Christmas? website. "Hanging a circular wreath of evergreens during mid-winter seems to go back a very long way. It might have started back in Roman times when wreaths were hung on doors as a sign of victory and of status. Rich Roman women wore wreaths as headdresses on special occasions. Roman emperors also wore laurel wreaths. They were also given to the winners of events even earlier in time to winners of events in the original Olympic Games in Greece.
The word "wreath" comes from the Old English word "writhen" which means to writhe or twist. Christmas wreaths as we know them today might have started life as Kissing Boughs or come from the German and Eastern European custom of ADVENT wreaths.
If you have a wreath, place it close so you can see it. As you look at your wreath: pray for the people that your circle of life includes: family, friends, relatives. Pray for those on the outside of your circle - the homeless, the sick, those dealing with illness and loss, the dying, those struggling with mental illness and depression.
READ PSALM 98 and pray for creation and all its struggles.