From the Backcountry ...

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North Greenwich Congregational Church

Pastor’s Advent Update  (Part One)

November 30, 2018


From the Backcountry …

‘In the bleak mid-winter … frosty wind made moan.’    Christina Rossetti

Winter is such a wonderful gift.  Even though the cold compels us to spend much of the time indoors, this time of hibernation affords the body opportunity to repair itself from the rigors of our more active months.  So, before we get caught up in holiday frenzies that quickly drain energies and finances, we would do well to remember that the frosty days ahead are intended as a respite – a time for some household closeness, relaxation and feasting!!   Mull some cider tonight and treasure the company of those you love.   

Sunday, December 2   First Sunday of Advent  10:30 a.m.

Lectionary Readings:   Psalm 25; Luke 21: 25-36

Text:  “For the powers of the heavens will be shaken, then they will see the son of man coming.”  Luke 21:26-27

Sermon:   “Shake It Up”

Tease:  The Advent season traditionally begins with descriptions of the world being shaken to its core!!  While we no longer share the world-view of first century Christians, these scary images nevertheless speak to our own sense of insecurity - whether we are confronting cataclysmic changes like climate change, or simply the daily flux of our individual lives.  You may be surprised to learn, however, that most of these Advent references to mountains shaking and waters foaming are actually meant to calm and reassure us!

Claudia Schipper will be the worship leader.

Thursday, December 6   Outdoor Christmas Tree Lighting  6:30 p.m.

Last Wednesday night’s “Thirty-Rock” Tree Lighting will pale in comparison to the moment we gather in the Sanctuary THIS  Thursday evening  for some  “A cappella” Christmas caroling  and one of my all-time favorite felt-board extravaganzas!!   We will then assemble on the front lawn for our very own tree lighting count-down, followed by warm cider and refreshments in the Knapp Room.  Join us - as we raise up some traditional Christmas spirit and holiday cheer!!

Sunday,  December 9   Second Sunday of Advent  10:30 a.m.

Lectionary Readings:   Isaiah 40: 1-6;  Mark 1: 1-8

Text:   “A voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way of the Lord.’” Mark 1:3

Sermon:  “Where the Wild Things Are”

Tease:  If you’re not feeling the Christmas Spirit yet, you can blame the Gospel writers!  They completely misquote the prophet Isaiah in his instructions as to “where” we should be preparing for the coming of Christ’s Spirit in our daily lives! 

Looking Ahead:

The Annual Christmas Luncheon   Sunday, December 16 immediately following worship.

We gather in Fellowship Hall after worship on December 16 for our annual Turkey Dinner.  Kerry and Peter Linderoth will be grilling the bird – but WE will provide all the trimmings!!  It’s a wonderful tradition and an opportunity to sample the congregation’s favorite holiday fare!!   Members and Friends are asked to prepare a covered dish to compliment the turkey entrée.  How about some sweet potatoes and mini-marshmallows?  Or, maybe, something that shakes like a bowl full of jelly!!  What about some sugar plums!!   It’s up to you to make this annual event the feast to remember.

Because the event will probably be the last time we’re all  together before the holiday, we’ll take a moment at the luncheon to recognize and give thanks for the seventeen years (and 18 Christmases!) we have shared together in ministry before my retirement on Sunday, December 30.

Happy St. Andrew’s Day,


The next edition of the Update will be Friday, December 14