Weekly thoughts and updates from Hanover's pastor.
December 12, 2013

If you guessed JOY - you win the 3rd Advent pink candle contest!

This Sunday is our third stop on the Advent express, the number one train bound for Bethlehem.  It is a special stop on the journey. 

The season of Advent was first recognized in the 5th century, when, like Lent, it was a 40 day period of penitence and preparation.  In the 9th Century it was reduced to four weeks.  At that point the third Sunday was designated as Gaudete (Latin for "rejoice") Sunday: the one on which the people would "lighten up", step out of their penitential mode, and rejoice in God's love - and the fact that they had crossed the half way hump of Advent!  This Sunday we will continue in that tradition and spirit as we light a special pink candle to symbolize the sustaining power of the joy God offers us.

I think those early church leaders were on to something.  They knew that life is a journey fraught with valleys and peaks.  They knew that even the most faithful disciples become weak, weary, worried, and worn.  They knew that being consistently faithful and constantly focused on God is hard work.  And they also knew the value and importance of stepping back to rejoice in God's goodness in community with one another.  They knew that what light is to darkness, so joy is to pain.

The Advent season is in itself an invitation to come.  And so come this Sunday bearing your best and brightest pink spirit; come to hear and share in joyful music and message; come seeking to put you worries and weariness on hold; and come prepared to be renewed and revived for the journey through God's gift of joy.
Click here to read the passages we will share in worship on Sunday.
Isaiah 35:1-10
Luke 1:46-55
Joy is strength
Mother Teresa
The Third Sunday of Advent
December 15

Continental Breakfast

Discipleship Groups For All Ages
9:30am - 10:30am

Who Would Send a Baby?

Fellowship Following Worship

And don't forget the red wagon!
Each Wednesday in Advent we are gathering in the Church School Hall to discuss stories written by Sarah Foulger in Yards of Purple.  The festivities begin at 5:30pm with soup and bread, move into discussion after dessert, and the time closes by 7:00pm with music and song led by our Minister of Music, Twyla Evitts. 

After worship on December 22 the brown bag book club will meet to discuss and then watch The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson.  It is the delightful story of a most unexpected experience that turns a congregation upside down, and all in the spirit of the season!
Eating & Greening
This Friday at 6:00pm we will convene in the Gathering Place for our annual Christmas dinner.  All are welcome and encouraged to join in this evening of inspiring fellowship, amazing food, and seasonal songs and singing.  

On Saturday morning all are invited back to the church for the annual Greening of the Church, beginning at 10:00am.  If the weather is bad on Saturday morning, the greening will be canceled.  If you have any question whether or not the greening is taking place, you may call Eloise Downing on Saturday between 8:00am - 9:00am at 302-540-4711 (cell) or 302-427-2208 (home). 
This Sunday at 3:00pm we will gather to celebrate our Christian Unity with sisters and brothers at Manna Christian Fellowship Church (733 East 22nd Street).  The service is one of a series of events and ministries from now through Black History Month that are a part of our partnership with Manna.  Both congregations are currently collecting funds through Change for Christ, a fundraiser to support each of our educational ministries, and we will worship and praise together again as a part of our Gospel Vespers Concert on February 16.  Sunday's service will feature the inspired Hanover Choir and soloist Brain Gray!
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