at this time, We flow into Advent
By Pastor Paul Stumme-Diers
The gratitude of Thanksgiving flows rightly and quickly into Advent. Thankfulness, with Christ at the center, is extended and assumes a new mood in this season of expectation and preparation.
We move now from Christ the King to the Advent hymn “Joy to the World … let Earth receive its King.” Here, allow me to enumerate the ways we will express our joy and thanksgiving, our giving and our receiving.
Advent logs for our homes have been created and distributed thanks to Kathy Dudgeon. Use these as a ritual of moving through this holy season.
For many of us, Advent is a journey to which we physically commit. You are invited to traverse the miles from Nazareth to Bethlehem, about 70 miles, using this a a centering, preparing, meditative discipline. While you are at it, take a look at our December book of the month in the Bethany Library, “Strolls for Well-Being,” a tool for such a journey that is especially tuned to walks in the Bloedel Reserve.
We offer daily Bible readings for Advent and Christmas.
Advent traditionally has been an opportunity to shop in a “Fair Trade Fair” environment at Bethany. Early this fall the organizers, Iris White, Linnea Chu and Laurie Stumme-Diers, through it might be a good year to suspend the Fair Trade Fair and to promote the “ELCA Good Gifts” catalog, where items such as pigs, goats, backpacks of food, and inoculations can be purchased in the name of a love one. Catalogs are available in our narthex, and ornaments have on a tree as a reminder of this thoughtful gift option.
The Children’s Christmas Program will take place on Sunday, Dec. 10, during our 9:30 a.m. worship. Many thanks to Trish Siburg for writing and directing our “ABCs of Christmas” program.
At 2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 10, the Bethany Choir will participate in a Christmas concert at Poulsbo First Lutheran Church. Come and join us in this celebration of Christmas with the wider Lutheran community.
The Advent/Christmas worship schedule has a few special wrinkles this year, so please note our schedule. Our Advent worship services on Saturday/Sunday will use the “Holden Evening (Advent) Prayer” liturgy, which includes Advent themes such as the Annunciation and the Magnificat. Come and let your prayers rise up as incense!
Sunday, Dec. 24
9:30 a.m. (Fourth Sunday in Advent worship)
Christmas Eve worship
4, 6 p.m.: Family worship with story, crarols, candlelight, communion
10 p.m.: Worship with choir, candlelight, carols, and communion
Monday, Dec. 25
9:30 a.m. Christmas Day worship with Holy Communion
Saturday, Dec. 30
5 p.m. Christmas Lessons and Carols
Sunday, Dec. 31
9:30 a.m. Christmas Lessons and Carols
There is a lot happening, at Bethany and in the community. I all the “happenings,” take time to nurture the gratitude, to tend to those around you, and to take time for yourself, all important dimensions of “preparing? In all things let us take on the spirit of Mary, our souls magnifying the greatness of God.
ADVENT, CHRISTMAS HAPPENINGS
Amabile presents Christmas concert under Cauter
The Amabile Choir of Bainbridge under the direction of Sylvia Cauter presents "What Sweeter Music," its annual Christmas concert, at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1, and at 3 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church. The annual holiday concert will feature works by composers Matthew Culloton, Rollo Dilworth, Ola Gjeilo, Moses Hogan and John Rutter. Individual tickets, with a suggested donation of $18, will be available from Sylvia Cauter, Tanya Roe, Ashley Knight and at Dana's Showhouse, 194 Winslow Way East, across from Blackbird Bakery.
Drive-through Christmas planned at Rolling Bay
Rolling Bay Presbyterian Church presents its drive-through Christmas from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Dec. 1 and 2. See Mary and Joseph, Roman soldiers and the baby Jesus. The church is at 11042 Sunrise Drive. There is no charge.
Vinland women to visit with Rachel Circle members
Members of Rachel Circle have invited women from Vinland Lutheran Church of Poulsbo for a Bible study, soup lunch, fellowship and a white-elephant gift exchange on Tuesday, Dec. 5. The gathering starts at 10 a.m. with the Bible study based on the December study materials from Gather, available in the library. If you are able to bring food for lunch, please contact Carol Fenner, 206-842-1573,
All invited as Altar Guild holds cookie exchange
Whether you are a member of Altar Guild or not, bring one plate of cookies and exchange it for another at the annual Altar Guild Cookie Exchange, taking place at noon Wednesday, Dec. 6, in the fellowship hall.
Art display at church of Steadfast Love
The Church of Steadfast Love at the Compass Center will highlight the art of two of its members during a display from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 7, at the church. Photographs by Stephen Questad and oil paintings by Charles Smith will be for sale, from $5 to $40, cash or check. The items are perfect for Christmas giving.
Bethany Choir joins in community concert
At 2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 10, the Bethany Choir will participate in a community Christmas concert at Poulsbo First Lutheran Church. Come and join us in this celebration of Christmas with the wider Lutheran and Poulsbo communities.
Hometown Band preforms Christmas program
The Hometown Band will perform its Christmas program at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 12, at Bethany. Refreshments will be offered during intermission. A fine assemblage of sacred and secular music will get listeners in the spirit
Caroling to take place after worship Dec. 17
Come join us for caroling after worship on Sunday, Dec. 17, which also is the final day of Sunday school before we break for Christmas. Sunday school resumes on Jan. 7.
FFF invites all to Christmas luncheon
All are invited to a Christmas luncheon hosted by FFF at noon on Wednesday, Dec. 20, in the fellowship hall. Besides a delicious Christmas-themed potluck, we will enjoy singing carols. Sign up on the bulletin board.