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Advent 2018

Advent is the preparation for the glorious news that God comes to us — to the world — in the flesh. God truly is with us. On that “silent night,” with its angel proclamations, peasant adoration, and humble beginnings, Emmanuel (meaning “God with us”) is born into this world to usher in a new way of seeing and being that encompasses hope and love and joy and peace. Advent invites us to hold our breath and listen into the silence; to inhale and catch a whiff of some fragrance that enlivens both memory and hope. Advent calls us into to something quite extraordinary.

This year, it just so happens that Christmas Eve is the 200th anniversary of the debut of the beloved carol, “Silent Night.” In observance of this special occasion, FUMCFW will be using the lyrics to this beautiful carol as the basis of our theme throughout the Advent season. As this worship series celebrates the “Silent Night” message during the season of Advent, we invite you to listen for its call as a guide for your life — all year long.

Learn more about this year’s Advent theme from Rev. Linda McDermott

In the silence of a midwinter dusk, there is far off in the deeps of it somewhere a sound so faint that for all you can tell it may be only the sound of the silence itself. 
You hold your breath to listen.
You walk up the steps to the front door. 
The empty windows at either side of it tell you nothing, or almost nothing. 
For a second you catch a whiff of some fragrance that reminds you of a place you’ve never been and a time you have no words for. 
You are aware of the beating of your heart . . . The extraordinary thing that is about to happen is matched only by the extraordinary moment just before it happens.
“Advent” is the name of that moment.
— Frederick Buechner, “Whistling in the Dark”


Christmas — and all the days leading up to it — and silence?

Pairing these two things is not the reality for most people. We make our plans well in advance in attempt to stave off the holiday panic and anxiety we anticipate; most often, silence is the last thing we associate with this season.

Yet, Buechner’s words resonate with something deep in our being. We know there is something awesome to be embraced. We strain our souls in the midst of our busy-ness, longing to hear that faint calling to, “be still, and know” God.

Advent is the preparation for the glorious news that God comes to us — to the world — in the flesh. God truly is with us. On that “silent night,” with its angel proclamations, peasant adoration, and humble beginnings, Emmanuel (meaning “God with us”) is born into this world to usher in a new way of seeing and being that encompasses hope and love and joy and peace. Advent invites us to hold our breath and listen into the silence; to inhale and catch a whiff of some fragrance that enlivens both memory and hope. Advent calls us into to something quite extraordinary.

This year, it just so happens that Christmas Eve is the 200th anniversary of the debut of the beloved carol, “Silent Night.” In observance of this special occasion, FUMCFW will be using the lyrics to this beautiful carol as the basis of our theme throughout the Advent season. As this worship series celebrates the “Silent Night” message during the season of Advent, we invite you to listen for its call as a guide for your life — all year long.

Especially on Christmas Eve, when something powerful and mystical occurs as we light our candles together and sing the hope of, “all is calm, all is bright,” we celebrate not only this beautiful timeless hymn, but also this message of peace and light for our world.



Rev. Linda McDermott
Associate Pastor of Worship


On Sunday, December 2, we will center on PEACE, looking through the lens of those who gathered in the first nativity, and this service will include a live nativity in our Sanctuary.

On Sunday, December 9, we will see HOPE through the eyes of the shepherds when angels filled the skies with singing of glorious news. Join us as Choral Union and instrumentalists fill our beautiful Sanctuary with glorious music for all to hear.

On Sunday, December 16, we will embrace LOVE as we celebrate the Son of God, “love’s pure light,” with favorite Christmas carols and special music from Adoramus Chamber Choir.

And on Sunday, December 23, we will experience JOY as we join with the angels to singing “alleluias to our King!”

On Christmas Eve on Monday, December 24, we will continue our special tradition of candle lighting, celebrating and symbolizing our carrying of peace and light for the world.

We will celebrate our Christmas Sunday worship on December 30 with one service at 11:00 am in the Sanctuary, singing carols and rejoicing in all this season brings to us and to our world.

WORSHIP

Gathering to focus on God together

Sunday Worship

Traditional Worship

Silent Night: An Advent Sermon Series by Dr. Tim Bruster
9:30 – 10:30 am & 11:00 am – noon | Sanctuary

 

Sunday, December 2 — Peace

“Heavenly Peace”
First in the series Silent Night | Luke 2:1-7, Isaiah 9:2-7

We will center on PEACE, looking through the lens of those who gathered in the first nativity, and this service will include a live nativity in our Sanctuary.

Sunday, December 9 — Hope

“Shepherds Quake at the Sight”
Second in the series Silent Night | Luke 2:8-12, Isaiah 11:1-10

We will see HOPE through the eyes of the shepherds when angels filled the skies with singing of glorious news. Join us as Choral Union and instrumentalists fill our beautiful Sanctuary with glorious music for all to hear.

Sunday, December 16 — Love

“Son of God, Love’s Pure Light”
Third in the series Silent Night | Luke 2:13-20, John 1:1-18

We will embrace LOVE as we celebrate the Son of God, “love’s pure light,” with favorite Christmas carols and special music from Adoramus Chamber Choir.

Sunday, December 23 — Joy

“With the Angels, Let Us Sing”
Fourth in the series Silent Night | Luke 2:8-20, Philippians 4:4-8

We will experience JOY as we join with the angels to singing “alleluias to our King!” Fifth Street Bells will perform.

Other Sunday Worship Offerings

DiscipleChurch

7:15 am | Community Breakfast
Wesley Hall
8:30 am | Worship | Chapel

The Gathering

9:30 & 11:00 am | Wesley Hall
Rev. Lance Marshall

eleven:eleven

11:11 am | 512 W. 4th St.
Rev. Tom McDermott

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Chapel Communion

10:35 am | Chapel
Dr. Len Delony

Choral Union Advent Festival

Sunday, December 9, 2018
9:30 & 11:00 am | Traditional Sanctuary Worship

Choral Union, Singing Women of First Church, and Singing Men of First Church will present its annual Advent Festival featuring choral music of composers, Dan Forrest, Eric Barnum, and Elaine Hagenberg along with instrumental accompaniment from our 5th Street String Quartet. Congregational singing will be a part of this presentation.

Service of Comfort and Peace

Sunday, December 9, 2018
6:00 – 7:00 pm | Chapel | Rev. Linda McDermott

The Christmas season is a particularly difficult time for some, and your church wants you to know that you are not forgotten in the midst of celebrations and parties and joyful gatherings. This service intentionally allows room for feelings of grief, sadness, disappointment, or any other feeling that is not easily addressed. Rev. Linda McDermott will offer a brief word and lead a time of prayer.

Adoramus Chamber Choir presents Carols of the Season

Sunday, December 16, 2018
9:30 & 11:00 am | Traditional Sanctuary Worship

Beautiful arrangements of Christmas music will be presented by our chamber choir, Adoramus. Adoramus will perform selections from “Let the Angels Sing” by Thomas Bojesen and selections by composers, John Rutter, Robert Young, and David Hamilton.

Disability Friendly Christmas Worship

Wednesday, December 19, 2018
9:30 – 10:30 am & 6:00 – 7:00 pm | Chapel

Join us for a special service featuring the Christmas story from the Gospel of Luke, Christmas carols, candlelight and communion (for those who wish to receive it). Christmas cookies and other goodies will follow this service. Bring family and friends to this special time of worship together.

REGISTER
Contact: Gail Snider | gsnider@dementiafriendlyfw.org | 817-332-6266

Christmas Eve Services

Monday, December 24, 2018
Holy Communion served at all services

Noon Candlelight Service

Noon – 1:00 pm | Sanctuary | Rev. Lance Marshall

Offering the same special First Church Christmas Eve worship traditions as our 7:00, 9:00, and 11:00 pm evening services, including communion, candlelight, and special music, this midday service provides an earlier alternative to our evening services.

Family Candlelight Services

3:30 & 5:00 pm | Sanctuary | Dr. Tim Bruster & Mister Mark Burrows

Come join us for an evening filled with all our cherished traditions — candlelight, Christmas carols, Communion, and the wondrous story of Jesus’ birth. We’ll also have our kid-favorite Christmas Eve puppet show.

Traditional Candlelight Services

7:00, 9:00 & 11:00 pm | Sanctuary | Dr. Tim Bruster

The traditions of Christmas and the beauty of this night are enhanced by uplifting music and proclamation of the Word, celebrating Holy Communion, singing carols, and lighting candles. The Sanctuary doors will open 20 minutes prior to each service, and special music will be performed by First Church Brass and our own Peggy Graff on organ.

Christmas Eve Connections

4:15 – 4:45 pm | Christmas music
6:15 – 6:45 & 8:15 – 8:45 pm | Cellist Dace Sultanov
10:15 – 10:45 pm | Christmas music | Wesley Hall

Arrive early before our evening Christmas Eve services to get a good parking place, visit with your friends, and beat the rush! Join us in Wesley Hall for refreshments and beautiful music while waiting for the Sanctuary doors to open, 20 minutes prior to each service.

Valet Parking

3:00 – 10:30 pm | 5th Street

Complimentary Valet Parking Assistance will be available from 3:00 – 10:30 pm for anyone with mobility issues. Just turn into the Justin Building lot from 7th Street, and then come straight through to 5th Street where you’ll find the Valet Parking stand. You can drop your car off and take the ramp straight into the Sanctuary for the 3:30, 5:00, 7:00, and 9:00 pm services. The Sanctuary doors will open 20 minutes prior to each service.

SERVE

Being God’s people in the world

December Mission Sundays: Red Bag Food Drive

Pick up red bags in Welcome Center | Return to First Street Methodist Mission
Monday – Thursday | 8:00 am – 4:00 pm
OR the donation bins at the East, West & Garden entrances | Sunday mornings

Food insecurity is a frightening reality for many families in our community. Grab a red food bag and fill it up with canned goods to help a family in our community this Advent season.

Contact: Linda Murphy | lmurphy@firststreetmission.org | 817-339-2404

Christmas Eve Volunteers

Monday, December 24, 2018
11:30 am – 11:30 pm | Registration required

Christmas Eve is right around the corner, and with that comes the PERFECT opportunity to be a part of one of the most beautiful and meaningful days at FUMCFW. There are six services on Christmas Eve this year: a Traditional Service at noon, Family Services at 3:30 and 5:00 pm, as well as Traditional Services at 7:00, 9:00, and 11:00 pm. If you would be interested in ushering at one or more of these services or volunteering in the Welcome Center, we would love to have you! And, for those who serve and their families, we will have seating roped off downstairs and in the balcony so you can usher or greet people in the Welcome Center, and then enjoy reserved seating with your family. Please consider this truly fun and festive way to serve our church on Christmas Eve. Just let us know we can count on you, and we’ll contact you with further instructions!

volunteer
Contact: Lisa Helm | lhelm@myfumc.org 

PLAY

Enjoying the good life God gives

Christmas Cheer

Sunday, December 2, 2018
2:30 – 5:30 pm | Wesley Hall

Everyone is invited to this special day of service and fun! We’ll meet in Wesley Hall to kick off Christmas Cheer, which begins with caroling groups traveling to local assisted living facilities to share God’s love through song and fellowship. Then it’s back to Wesley Hall to celebrate the joy of Christmas with carriage rides, flip books, a Christmas card station, and cookie decorating.

Contact: Heather Teems | hteems@myfumc.org | 817-339-5096

Youth Christmas Party

Sunday, December 2, 2018
5:30 – 8:00 pm | Justin Youth Building

All youth are invited to join us for our Christmas Party! Our theme this year is “Christmas at Hogwarts,” so we encourage you to come in Hogwarts attire, Christmas attire . . . or a combination of the two! We will have dinner together, activities, and of course, our annual white elephant gift exchange ($10 limit for gifts).

Contact: Kat Bair | kbair@myfumc.org

Polar Express Party

Wednesday, December 12, 2018
5:30 – 7:30 pm | Wesley Hall

It’s our sixth annual family celebration around the holiday classic “The Polar Express” by Chris Van Allsburg. Join us for dinner and this classic holiday film, complete with hot chocolate and Christmas fun! Be sure to wear your most festive pajamas! Optional nursery care for children under 3 years old available with reservations by December 11.

Contact: Heather Teems | hteems@myfumc.org | 817-339-5096
Child Care: Paula Wagstaff | pwagstaff@myfumc.org

LEARN

Discovering and understanding who God is

Advent Study: A Different Kind of Christmas

November 7 – December 19, 2018
Wednesdays | 9:30 – 11:00 am | Room 334
Led by Rev. Phyllis Barren | Registration required | $10 for book

Learn to live and give like Jesus. Based on Mike Slaughter’s popular book “Christmas Is Not Your Birthday,” this seven-week, study will empower you to reclaim the broader missional meaning of Jesus’ birth. With this study you can experience Christmas with more peace and joy while avoiding common traps and discontent of consumerism.

Contact: Gayle Ammerman | gammerman@myfumc.org

Advent Study: The First Christmas

November 18 & 25, 2018
Sundays | 9:30 – 10:40 am | Room 320
OR
November 29 & December 6, 2018
Thursdays | 9:15 – 11:00 am | Room 350
Led by Rev. Linda McDermott | Registration required

The stories of the birth of Jesus are almost certainly among the best-known stories in the world. They are the foundation of the world’s most widely observed holiday, celebrated by over two billion Christians. For this reason, how we hear them, read them, and interpret them matters. These stories touch the deepest part of our human longing for light in the darkness and a future of hope. Yet, these stories also lure us and the world toward a radical transformation of the way we see all of life and the way we live. This two-week study will illuminate these familiar stories in new and important ways for all people of faith.

Contact: Gayle Ammerman | gammerman@myfumc.org

Monday Musers Advent Study: “The Redemption of Scrooge”

November 26 – December 17, 2018
Mondays | 12:30 – 2:00 pm | Foundation Building, Room 271
Registration required | Book available for $15
Led by Dr. Mike Marshall

Ebenezer Scrooge is a man in dire need of a second chance. Is redemption possible for such a greedy, dark, and sad character? “The Redemption of Scrooge” from Matt Rawle’s The Pop in Culture Series, shows us how the teachings of Jesus can be found in Dickens’ Christmas classic. From the ghosts of Christmas past, to the Life of the present, and the resurrection of Christmas future, this Advent study will “bless us every one” and reinvigorate our spiritual journeys as we look at this familiar story through the lens of faith. Books are available in the Main Office or you are welcome to get your own electronic copy.

Contact: Gayle Ammerman | gammerman@myfumc.org

PRAY

Talking and listening to God’s direction

Advent Devotional

As we move through the Season of Advent, deepen your Silent Night Advent experience by following our weekly Advent Devotional. By adding this special focus to our thoughts and prayers throughout the Advent Season, we prepare our hearts and minds for joyful celebration of Christ entering the word. Pick up our 2018 Advent booklet, complete with Silent Night devotional and Advent programming details from the Welcome Center and Main Office.

Remembering Our Losses Together

Saturday, December 1, 2018
9:30 am – 12:30 pm | Room 350 | Registration required | $12 for lunch

Please join us for a morning of shared stories about the people we love who have died. We will feel free to laugh together and cry together as we listen, learn, and reflect. Though grief takes all kinds of twists and turns, leaving us feeling fine one day and disoriented and heavy another day, for most of us, a chance to share and be with other grievers gives some comfort and joy. Come and receive the benefit of being with others on the same journey.

You begin to cry and writhe and yell and then to keep on crying; and finally, grief ends up giving you the two best gifts: softness and illumination.”  — Anne Lamott, “Small Victories: Spotting Improbable Moments of Grace”

Contact: Charme Robarts | crobarts@myfumc.org

register

A Silent Night of Prayer

Sunday, December 9, 2018
5:00 – 6:00 pm | Wesley Hall | Rev. Linda McDermott

A Silent Night of Prayer is an opportunity for you to experience the loveliness of a quiet time of prayer and reflection. Rev. Linda McDermott will begin this time with a moment of reflection. Participants may then sit quietly or may walk the labyrinth while in prayer. Resources for your time of prayer will be offered and quiet music will accompany this service.

GIVE

Putting God first in all things

Christmas Offering

Help us support our church ministries and local community with our Christmas offering. This year’s offering supports Kids Hope USA Mentoring, Methodist Justice Ministry, Food 4 Kids, Kenya Mission, Costa Rica Mission, Providence Place (Formerly Methodist Mission Home), Methodist Children’s Home in Waco, TX, and Wesleyan Homes. Give online (choose Christmas Offering from the drop-down menu) or with a check or donation envelope marked “Christmas Offering” in the Sunday offertory, by mail, or in the Main Office.

Give  Read a letter from Dr. Tim Bruster

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