On the longest night of the year, we will gather for a special “Blue Christmas” service. On Wednesday, December 22, at 7:00 p.m., we create space for grief and healing in this annual tradition of Blue Christmas. On the night when the darkness is the greatest, we will enter it and find beauty.
People of faith too often feel pressure to find only joy in Christmas. but the messiness and reality of life reminds us that there is often pain this time of year. In fact, there are things about the Christmas season that sharpen the pain of loss, grief, anxiety, and depression. This service is a chance to speak to this truth.
The service will last about 30 minutes. There will be a time for quiet prayer, music, reflection, and a ritual for healing that will create something beautiful. The piece that we create will be a part of the Christmas Eve atmosphere on Friday at 4:00 p.m., when we celebrate the coming of Christ in worship.
The Blue Christmas Service is Wednesday, December 21 at 6:00 p.m. This is a special time set aside for those who are hurting at Christmas. Learn more here.
The Christmas Eve worship will be at 6:30 in the evening. This traditional service will feature traditional Christmas songs, the lighting of candles, and the sharing of Communion. The service will retell the story of Christmas through songs and reading. Remember, all are invited to the Communion table. All are welcome, regardless of age, race, political leaning, class, nationality, gender, native language, or orientation. The message of Christmas is that all the barriers between humanity and God are removed. Indeed, Tiny Tim had it right when he declared, “God bless us, every one!.” For the last few weeks we have been looking at how the Redemption of Scrooge can matter to our Christmas today. This will be the final part of that story.
On Christmas Morning we will share a special interactive service designed especially for kids to help out. There is no need for rehearsal or costumes, and people of all ages are sure to enjoy this special re-telling of the “ABCs of Christmas.” In addition, people are invited to bring their gifts for the Holy Family. We have been reminded this year that Jesus and his family were refugees. The Gospel of Matthew tells us that the family had to flee from King Herod, who wanted Jesus dead. We know that Jesus survived, despite being a refugee in Egypt because someone there must have welcomed them. This Christmas, how can we do anything less? In response, we are creating a “Good Neighbor Kit,” to give to World Relief Moline. These Good Neighbor Kits include household items that will help a refugee family get settled in the area. If you don’t have a gift for the new family, you may still be able to select a gift and bring it at your earliest convenience.
This Advent the whole church is invited to be a part of The Redemption of Scrooge. This worship series will be a fun trip through Charles Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol. We’ll meet all the familiar faces: Scrooge, Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim, Marley, and of course the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future. Each week will include the traditional hanging of the Chrismon on the tree, singing familiar Christmas carols and new tunes, and a dramatic Radio Theater presentation. Together we will move from “Bah humbug,” to “God bless us, every one!” In addition to the weekly sermon series, there are three small group opportunities to dig deeper in to Matthew Rawle’s book, “The Redemption of Scrooge.” Sundays at 10:45 in the Adult Class in Asbury Parlor, Mondays at noon in Epworth Hall, and Thursday evenings at 6:00 in Asbury Parlor.
Nov. 27 Bah, humbug
Dec. 4 The Remembrance of Christmas past
Dec. 11 The Life of Christmas present
Dec. 18 The Hope of Christmas future
Dec. 24 (at 6:30) Candlight and Communion Christmas Eve service
Christmas Eve is a special night. At 6:30 p.m., we will gather for worship with our Bell Choir, Sanctuary Choir, and Youth Choir. We will sing some traditional Christmas hymns, come to the Lord’s table and share Communion, and relight each of the Advent candles. Please know that the table of Communion is open to all. The only requirement to take the bread and the cup is a desire to find God.
The service will end with the lighting of the Christ Candle. Then that light will be shared with all who gather as we sing “Silent Night, Holy Night.” The lights will be turned down low as we sing, and hold aloft the light of Christ. Hopefully, when we go home, the light will remain in our hearts.
Two Rivers Church is at 1820 5th Avenue Rock Island. The parking lot is at the corner of 5th Avenue and 18th Street. There is an accessible ramp on 19th Street. Get Directions.
On December 28, Two Rivers will celebrate in worship with a Christmas Carol Countdown. Throughout December, people can vote on their favorite Christmas hymns (and one not so favorite). The top vote getters will be revealed in worship on December 28 at 9:30, as we enjoy a festive day day of singing and praise. CLICK HERE FOR YOUR BALLOT.