Rethinking Advent – from Rev. Welch

 

Dear Friends and Members of the United Church of Norman-UCC

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According to Wikipedia:

Advent is a season observed in many Western Christian churches as a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas. The term is a version of the Latin word meaning “coming”. Advent is the beginning of the Western liturgical year and commences on the fourth Sunday before Christmas,

For Christians, the season of Advent anticipates the coming of Christ from three different perspectives. “In the flesh in Bethlehem, in our hearts daily, and in glory at the end of time.” The season offers the opportunity to share in the ancient longing for the coming of the Messiah

That Messianic expectation in Judaism took a different turn though with liberal and Reform Jewish communities. They came to not expect a person who would usher in the end of history. They came to see it as a Messianic era. An era marked by peace and justice.

While many progressive Christians have a hard time imagining the second coming of Christ, maybe we could instead look for a reign of peace and justice. This is to say that we don’t look for the end of history but rather look forward to and work for the time when the spirit of Jesus , the spirit of peace and justice will come, in the life of this world and in our own lives.

But experience teaches us that the movement to a better world is not immediate. It’s a cumulative process that takes time. So while it can be hard imagine that real peace and justice could ever take hold of our world, we can see little expressions of it happening. In our hearts, in communities which are bridging the divides, even in the form of a child.

We’ll be exploring the ways progressive Christians can incorporate Advent and Christmas for Adult Education Sundays December 11th and 18th at 9:45 a.m

Blessings,

Rev. Dwight Welch

 

 

Future Events

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The United Church of Norman expresses solidarity with our Muslim neighbors

The signs read “We are Muslim”

Thursday, December 1st at 5 p.m. It’s chance to meet with our church growth consultant, David Wheeler. All are welcome to attend. 1217 Melisa Dr in Norman

Sunday December 4th at 9:45 a.m we’ll hold our Conversation Sunday. Ericka Wright will speak about the project Somebody’s Mama.

Somebody’s Mama exists to bring awareness to issues affecting women across the globe, to create a community of people who care deeply about finding real solutions, and to turn ideas into action. Our vision is to invest in partnerships that empower women across all cultures and people.We do this by raising awareness and funding global projects focused on women’s healthcare, education, economic empowerment, and ending violence against women

Sunday, December 11, we will be having a social justice committee meeting after church. All are welcome to attend. One of the things we will be discussing is how we proceed with getting others involved in our journey to have Norman designated as a “Nonviolent City”.
Please feel free to join us for our discussion and bring any ideas you have with you.

December 18, 2016 we will collect for OUR CHURCH’S WIDER MISSION and the CHRISTMAS FUND. Please indicate in the memo line of your check the fund to which you wish to contribute.

Our Church’s Wider Mission is the basic support for the UCC. It permits the church to provide for operating expenses, to equip leaders, support clergy in ministry, foster healthy and vital congregations, advocate and witness for justice, respond to disasters and tragedies, send help around the world, and preach a welcoming and open understanding of Christian faith.

The Christmas Fund provides direct financial assistance to retired and active United Church of Christ authorized ministers and lay employees and their surviving spouses, including pension and health premium supplementation, emergency assistance, and Christmas thank-you checks.

 

Book Club December 5th

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We’re reading chapters 5 and 6 and we’ll gather to discuss them at Nancy Logan’s home 3200 Summit Bend at 7pm.

 

 

Food and Shelter Needs

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Resident and Shelter Needs include soap, cleaning supplies, furniture, diapers. Kitchen Needs are dry sealed foods. Care Packets for the homeless include deodorant, self care products, snack foods

 

 

A New Recycling Box

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Given the number of paper products we use for our morning gatherings and conversation box the Social Justice committee has set up a recycling box to discard those items. Look for it on Sundays!