Merry Christmas! We are excited to share 2 Christmas Eve Services with you! Click here!
God bless you and your family this Christmas!
Links to the services will be emailed and available Thursday morning after 10:00 AM. The services will also be available through our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/FairportUMC/ and on the revrichelle YouTube Channel: https://youtube.com/playlistlist=PLPLHeJ5D3olGSlO-Wzi_bScKYRZd-fYSc as well as on the Online Services page of this web site.
The First Sunday of Advent is November 29. It is the beginning of a new Church Year! We are thankful for beginnings, as they remind us of the new beginning we always find in the srteadfast love of God.
New beginnings are a time to dream, which is why our theme for Advent is Those Who Dream! Advent begins with our anticipation of the birth of Jesus. Like the expectations of a Messiah over two thousand years ago, we await the grace of God, which comes to us in Jesus the Christ. We await the hope, peace, joy and love of God, coming to redeem creation!
We hope for peace and find joy in love, as it re-creates the world around us to look a little more like the kingdom of God, or the way in which God wants the world to look. This is the dream of Advent, as we allow God’s grace to change how we dream!
Dreams can be dismissed easily! A student day dreaming in class is asked to focus. When someone chimes into a conversation saying, “You will not believe my dream last night,” we are not sure what to make of it. Dreams are not a serious currency, but perhaps they should be. Our dreams can make room for a new reality.
We can dream of hope for those who are fighting despair. We can dream of peace in the face of division. We can dream of joy for our loved ones, especially when they are hurting. We can dream of a world defined by God’s love! When we dream, we can make room for our holy imaginations to envision new possibilities.
As we await the birth of Jesus, we are invited to dream of hope, peace, joy, and love. This year is a good year for us to dream! We have faced the limitations of a pandemic and the health concerns of an illness. We have seen division and we have felt despair. We dream alongside Advent, reminded that God’s love is stronger than everything we have faced. We can renew our dreams of a world, which echo the steadfast love of God.
For Advent materials, please click Here!
November 29: The First Sunday in Advent
those who dream… keep awake (hope)
Mark 13: 24-37 | Isaiah 64: 1-9 | Psalm 80: 1-7, 17-19
Those who dream do not fall asleep to the realities of the world. God prompts us to pay attention to where God’s dreams for change and new life are emerging. In Advent, we remember that God’s ultimate dream is to be intimately connected to us – to come down and dwell among us. As we keep awake, we join Isaiah and the psalmist in pleading for restoration and for God to draw near.
December 6: The Second Sunday in Advent
those who dream… prepare the way (peace)
Mark 1: 1-8 | Isaiah 40: 1-11 | Psalm 85: 1-2, 8-13
John the Baptist calls the crowds into the journey of repentence and transformation. Similarly, we are called to prepare the way for God’s message of love and liberation to be shouted, heard, and received. Those who dream make way for righteousness and peace to kiss, for faithfulness to spring up from the ground (Psalm 85: 10-11).
December 13: The Third Sunday in Advent
those who dream … sow joy (joy)
Luke 1: 46-55 | Isaiah 61: 1-4, 8-11 | Psalm 126
Ultimately, dreams sow joy, even if that joy doesn’t immediately spring forth. Sowing seeds into the soil always feels risky and feeble – how can something so small become something so beautiful, so big, and so nourishing? Like Mary, we are called to tend and nurture the dreams God has woven into us.
December 20: The Fourth Sunday in Advent
those who dream… are not alone (love)
Luke 1:26-45 | 2 Samuel 7: 1-11, 16 | Psalm 89: 1-4, 19-26
This week, we recognize what preceded Mary’s song of praise: news that was disorienting and bewildering, possibly threatening her life. Together, Mary and Elizabeth find courage and comfort in spite of their unusual circumstances. We, too, are called to carry, support, and encourage one another’s dreams.
December 24: Christmas Eve
Luke 2:1-20 | Isaiah 9:2-7
The Christmas story reminds us that we are all dreamers. Like those gathered around the manger, we come to this night each year with awe, wonder, and holy imagination for what is possible. Like Mary, we treasure God’s dream in our hearts and commit to keeping it alive. Like the holy family, we believe and trust in a God who comes to us in the vulnerability of a child.