eChurchlight, December 2011
Dec 18: Christmas Cantata during the service, Children's Christmas program following the service
Dec 24: Christmas Eve Service, 7:30pm
Dec 25: Christmas Service, 10:00am
Dec 9: Young Adult potluck dinner, 6:30pm, at the home of Keith and Jen Eisenman
Dec 16: Parents Night out/Kids Night In, 6:30-9:00pm
In this issue
Worship Reflection and Notes
Sunday School and Youth Group Activities
How do people know the season of Christmas has begun? The first day of Christmas season for our society is a day called Black Friday, a Friday after Thanksgiving when people wait in line to storm the stores for holiday shopping. The Christmas season arrives with long lines of people at almost every shopping malls and major stores long before the dawn.
What makes us do that? It is anticipation that does the trick. Each person in those lines is expecting something good to happen after waiting in line. People are waiting with a sense of anticipation that they will be able to get what they need. They have been anticipating for this moment long before that morning. It is such anticipation that wakes people up still in darkness and/or keeps them awake all through the night in the parking lot. Christmas is the season of anticipation. Our children’s Christmas begins the day of the previous year’s Christmas as they starts to anticipate what gift the Santa would bring next year. Whether they are surprise Christmas gifts, cards from our loved ones, warm Christmas dinner with family, or many Christmas parties at home and work, we anticipate something that would make us feel that it’s indeed Merry Christmas!
What are you anticipating with much excitement this Christmas? What would make your Christmas a truly Merry Christmas this year? Even though our society calls this season Christmas, we Christians call it Advent. Advent is four weeks of anticipation of one thing and one thing only. It is a season that calls us to anticipate the birth of Christ in our midst once again. What makes Christmas real is not the gifts we buy, parties we throw, cards we receive, dinners we make. It is the birth of Christ and his spirit in our hearts and in our world. This is what we are to anticipate to happen at this Christmas and always. This is what should make us wake up each morning with prayer, keep us awake to see where Christ is being born in our midst, and help us bring gifts to such places and lives where Christ’s love is needed giving birth to the spirit of Christ in those lives and ours as well.
When our anticipation is all about Christ’s birth, our hearts become the manger where Jesus is born. When the coming of Christ is the greatest anticipation of our family, our homes become the manger. When our gifts are shared with the least, the last, and the lost, streets and shelters in our city become the manger. And when Christ is born in our hearts, our homes, and our community, the greatest gift of Christmas, the eternal life of faith, hope, and love begins to unfold at this Christmas and always.
BUMC will offer many opportunities to help your anticipation. Advent worship services, Advent prayer gathering, alternative Christmas gifts, advent devotionals for families, teens, and children are all here to help us anticipate the birth of Christ at this Christmas. I invite you to consider participating in many of these opportunities to have a true Christmas that will make sure you’ll never be the same.
With much anticipation, We
Prayerful Christmas Preparation
Advent is a season that calls for us to open our hearts and souls to experience of the birth of Christ. Our spirit is the manger where the life of God would be born at this Christmas and always. Followingare some of many opportunities for us to prepare our spirit for Christmas.
Christmas Characters: Advent Sermon Series
Christmas happened not just by God but also by people who have responded and participated in God’s dream for Christmas! During five Sundays in Advent &Christmas, our worship will explore the characters in the first Christmas act so that we can also participate in still unfolding dream of God!
* Sunday, Nov. 27/Advent 1 - Prophets
* Sunday, Dec. 4/Advent 2 – Shepherds
* Sunday, Dec. 11/Advent 3 - Mary
* Sunday, Dec. 18/Advent 4- Joseph
* Sunday, Dec. 25/Christmas – Three Kings
Christmas Eve Candle Light Service 7:30pm : Joint Worship with Korean Congregation!
Come and celebrate the birth of Christ with brothers and sisters in Boston Central Korean Church. We will share the spirit of Christmas with joint choir, special music, and lighting candles to welcome the birth of Christ in our lives and the world! Please invite your families and friends for this worship opportunity!
Advent Meditation; “Thy Kingdom Come” by Robert Hereth
Please pick up this small book that has a daily scripture, the reflections by Robert Hereth, and prayer. This daily practice by you and your family can center our lives on the true meaning of Christmas in the midst of hustles and bustles of Christmas of our world. The book will be available in the narthex.
Advent Weekday Evening Prayer: Wednesdays 7pm at the chapel
This 30 minutes of praise, prayer, and reflection is an oasis for our souls. During Advent we will be using Advent Meditation “Thy Kingdom Come” as a source of our prayer and reflection. Come and find a quiet center on Wednesday evenings.
Advent Activity for Children: “Come to Bethlehem and See!”
This book has a daily story that progresses toward Bethlehem and stickers for children to decorate a Christmas scene. Good for families with little children.
Advent Devotions for Youth: “God With Us?”
Fun and creative story telling about how God comes to be with us!
The best way to celebrate Christmas as Jesus’ birthday is to share the love of Christ with our neighbors both in our community and the world. Please visit our Christmas mission table to find many ways to share the gift of Christ with others!
Come celebrate the Christmas season with Belmont UMC's annual Chirstmas Cantata service on Sunday, December 18 at 10:00am. A unique worship service blending timeless music with scripture and meditations, the Cantata service is sure to put you in the right place for this holiday season. Our cantata this year will be Cantata #2 from the Christmas Oratorio by J.S. Bach.
Special Missions News
This time of year brings with it many Missions opportunities! Please plan to participate in as many of our mission opportunities as you can! - Louise Halstead, Mission’s Chair
Belmont Food Pantry
An evening at the Belmont Food Pantry – Last week We was asking me about the Belmont Food Pantry. I suggested he join me at the 4th Tuesday of the month distribution. On Nov. 22 and both of us helped out with the last time the pantry would be open before Thanksgiving. Patty Mihelich (the director) asked We to work with her on checking people in. Patty assigned me to hand out the fresh produce that had been donated. There were bags of apples, carrots, parsnips and a few turnips. Everyone was ready to take a bag of apples. After the first 20 or so people we were out of apples. The carrots, parsnips and turnips were fresh out of the ground – complete with dirt! The first person took a small selection of carrots and parsnips and one turnip (they were big but there were only 4 and they all disappeared). The following people would take a few carrots or parsnips. They were all discussing how they would add them to their soup, freeze them for later, eat them for snacks…. Everyone was careful to only take what they could reasonably use. Everyone left thankful for the Food Pantry and for the chance to have some fresh produce.
The Food Pantry distributes donations but when the donations run out they need to purchase items to distribute. As their client base grow this becomes even more necessary. With 150 clients there are many items they need to purchase so everyone can have enough. To help with this, we are collecting cash and checks. We will write one large check to the food pantry to cover their upcoming expenses. Make any donations to this mission payable to Belmont United Methodist Church and make a note that it is for the Food Pantry in the memo line. The money may be put in the collection plate or left in the office in the locked box just inside the door. We plan to deliver the check on December 17th, when the Media Center will be having a fundraiser for the Pantry.
Please remember to continue to drop donations in the Narthex cart!
Alternative Christmas Giving
Look for the table in the Social Hall during Coffee Hour to purchase Alternative Gifts for your family and friends.
* Hattie B. Cooper Community Center – Thank you to those who donated gifts and money to support the Christmas party for the center’s day care children and siblings. Each year we purchase and wrap gifts for the Cooper Community Center’s children. The center is in Roxbury and services the neighborhood. There are about 125 children we purchase gifts for and deliver to the center for their Christmas Party.
* Heifer Project - Heifer Project has multiple ideas of “baskets” which can be purchased to help people throughout the world become self-sufficient. With a small donation you can become part of this worldwide network. Anything from a $10 share of rabbits ($60 for a trio of rabtits) to a $48 share of a Knitting Basket of animals that provide wool to knit ($480 for the entire basket) to $5000 for an Ark of animals. There are also baskets of Tree Seedlings and a Gardner’s basket for those who love to garden. Give an Alternative Gift of Sustenance.
* Haiti Christmas Cards – Send alternative Christmas cards as a donation for Haiti’s recovery and growth after their devastating Hurricane
* Christmas Shopping! – at Amazon? Go to www.umcbelmont.org – (our website) and link to Amazon from the Amazon icon. The church receives a percentage of sales when you link through our site and shop.
News from Our Youth and Sunday School
What's really at the heart of Christmas?
Come journey with the youth of BUMC as they share what Advent and Christmas mean to them... and maybe learn a bit about what it means to you, in the process! Join us after worship on Sunday, December 18th to hear from all ages of our Sunday School program.
An opportunity to serve:
Do you care about kids? Want to help ensure safe spaces for them to learn and grow? Our youth program is looking for volunteers who want to get to know the kids of BUMC and explore their faith together.
No special experience necessary, just a caring heart and willing hands!
Whether once a season or every Sunday, we have a spot for you!
Contact Bethany at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
"Parents Night Out Kids Night In"
3rd Friday of each month from 6:30 to 9:00 PM
Your children enjoy fun care by our youth group and adult volunteers, while you enjoy some time for yourselves! Games, crafts, & snacks are provided. This service is open to all children ages 2 and up!
Please spread this good news to neighbors and friends! Upcoming dates: Dec 16, Jan 20, Feb 17
Freewill donations will fund the Youth Group’s summer mission trip working with children and the elderly in the greater Lawrence area.
To reserve a spot or to find out more email us at:
You can also call the church office with any questions or concerns.
Visit us on the web at http://www.umcbelmont.org
Upcoming Coffee Hour Schedule
Dec 11: RSTU group coordinated by Terry Grimm
Dec 18: VWXYZ group coordinated by Linda Rodi
Dec 25: ABC & DEFG groups coordinated by Carolyn Backus and Terry Grimm
Jan 1: HIJKL group coordinated by Sally Shelton
If you can help in any way with coffee hour or the monthly lunches, please contact Terry Grimm. If you are able, we need donations of bottled juice and lemonade, hot chocolate mix, cookies, dishwashing soap, hand sanitizer, napkins
Adult Fellowship Christmas Party
Thank you, thank you - Linda and Will French for hosting the annual adult Christmas party. The decorations, the food, the guests, the singing - all were terrific and a great start for the holidays.
Young Adult Christmas Celebration
There will be a potluck Christmas party for our new Young Adult Fellowship Group. Friday, December 9th at 6:30 PM. Hosted by Keith and Jen Eisenman at 4 Chase Ave. in Lexington.
1. Liz LaRocque
4: Nancy Montanaro
5: Eleanor Newcombe
6: Matthew Tardiff
11: Robert Brown
16: Kathy Touzjian
17: Janet Coombs
18: Caleb Teeter
19: Doug Teeter
20: Kristie Wetzel
21: Dick Coombs
22: Bob Hynes
23: Alex Schaffhausen
24: Janet Muirhead
28: Kelly Jo Miller
27: Douglas & Christina Matson
Let us know about any changes or additions! If you notice any mistakes involving other folks, please let us know about that as well.
Thanks for helping keep us in the know!
Office hours at 421 Common Street in Belmont (phone: 617-489-0730) are:
Monday through Friday
9:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Office hours at 80 Mt. Auburn Street in Watertown (phone: 617-926-2931):are
Tuesday and Thursday
4:00 - 6:30 PM
The United Methodist Church