Worship is a time of prayer, praise and reflection. It is also a time of celebration.

Advent Year B – December 3 – December 24, 2017

In the United States, Christmastime and thoughts of home just go together. “I’ll be Home for Christmas,” and “There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays,” are two of the most popular holiday songs, year after year. Christmas movies and television shows regularly feature stories of people going to their family home or extended family home over the holidays. Among the rituals we create for this darkest time of the year in the Northern hemisphere, perhaps the majority of them are associated with either going home or doing special things at home– whether lighting candles and having a time of family prayer during Advent, or decorating a Christmas tree, or caroling through a neighborhood, or hosting festive “open house” parties for friends, neighbors, and colleagues. It’s all about home.

Advent and Christmas Season are about another kind of homecoming, the homecoming of Christ to redeem and renew us, this earth, and all creation till “heaven and nature sing” with joy eternally. The Scriptures the church uses for Advent focus first on the final fulfillment, and later on the beginning of that fulfillment in Jesus. As they seek God’s joyous desire, they also make plain just how far from it we have been and challenge us with just how far we have to go, ourselves, to begin to live into it.

(c) UMC Discipleship Ministries. See full article here.

November – Native American Heritage Month

November is Native American Heritage Month and as United Methodists, we are called to reflect, learn and engage in tangible acts of healing with Native/Indigenous people. Use this month as a starting point for learning and acting.

In 1990, U.S. President George H.W. Bush approved a joint resolution designating November 1990 as “National American Indian Heritage Month.” Similar proclamation were issued in subsequent years.
The term Native Americans may refer to the entirety of the indigenous peoples of the Americas. There are more than 560 tribes and nations in the U.S., with more than 40 of them represented in The United Methodist Church.  (Also represented in our denomination are indigenous people on other continents, such as the Aetas of the Philippines.)
Among the native people in the Americas are:
  • Alaska Natives, including Eskimo-Aleut and Inupiat peoples
  • Native Hawaiians, native of the islands now declared in the state of Hawaii
  • Taino, the indigenous people of Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico
  • Aboriginal people in Canada, including First Nations, Inuit and Métis.

NOTE: Some Native Americans take offense to the name, “Indian” because it was bestowed by European explorers to the Americas who mistakenly believed they had landed in the country of India. Others embrace the name, “Indian.” It is best to ask people what they prefer to be called.

(c) UMC General Committee on Race and Religion. View full page here.

November is also National Epilepsy Awareness month. View more from the Epilepsy Foundation here.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

If you missed it, view more important facts and how you can help defeat cancer here.