We are doing our best to move forward as a community of faith as safely and effectively as possible. Due to the rising numbers of positive COVID-19 cases in our area, we have decided to limit in-person gathering at church to the bare essentials.
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.
On every Wednesday night during Advent, Pastor Robb will share a short vespers service. Vespers is the ancient tradition of evening prayer. The service will take place in the sanctuary after bell choir rehearsal, which usually ends at 7:00. The Vespers will include a time of prayer and reflection, a Psalm song, a reading from our daily All the Good Devotional, and Communion. The service should take between 30-40 minutes, and be over well before 8:00. The theme for each week will follow along with our Advent themes of Prepare with Hope, Praying for Peace, Care with Joy, and Do in Love.
The Edgar Crockett Trio will lead our music in worship on Sunday, September 5. Edgar is one of the premier jazz performers in the Quad Cities. The trumpet, piano, bass trio will share classic hymns with a jazz style. They will be sure to get your toes tapping and lead a lively, joyful celebration of God’s love. Pastor Robb will finish his two-part series called “Kindness Matters” and examine the second half of the Book of Ruth.
Freeing Jesus from our preconceived notions of who he is. Many cling to a particular image of Christ, this series is pushing us to see more facets of who he is. Each week we will look at Jesus as friend, teacher, savior, Lord, way, and presence.
Some people are uncomfortable calling Jesus “teacher.” It feels to colloquial, too informal, and not reverent enough. Some cling to Jesus as friend without allowing the friend to push us out of their comfort zone. Some bristle at calling Jesus “Lord,” because that term is cloaked in hierarchy and colonialism. Some say that they follow Jesus as the “Way,” but others feel that referring to Jesus as “presence,” is too mystical to be helpful.
Whatever term you cling to, Pastor Robb may challenge you to open up your understanding of what that means. Whatever term makes you uncomfortable, he may help you unpack and see in a new light. Guided by the great work by Diana Butler Bass and her book “Freeing Jesus,” this series will take six weeks to take a closer look at Jesus and see the brilliance and beauty of holding all six facets (and many more we won’t mention) together.
This series will last from July 18 through August 22.