The four Sundays preceding Christmas help prepare our hearts for remembering the birth of Christ. The services will feature a variety of music and special candle-lighting liturgy in which you can participate from home! We encourage you to create your own Advent wreath so you can light the candles of Joy, Peace, Hope and Love as we also light candles each week during worship.
Advent Sermon Series: The Coming of the Promise
Christmas this year is set in a very different context for us. Our society is filled with angst, sadness, loss, fear and darkness. The good news is that the message and the event of Christmas are designed for a people just like us. Jesus, the eternal word of God made flesh, entered into a world of darkness, brokenness, suffering and fear. Come discover the gift of the light of God shining into our darkness through Jesus Christ, and embrace that light and warmth into your life right now!
Advent at Home
Join us at home as we light Advent candles each Sunday. During this special time of preparation for Christmas, we will be lighting Advent candles—one for each of the four Sundays leading up to Christmas. The candles represent Joy, Peace, Hope and Love. As we light them during our worship services, we would like you to join us in lighting your own candles at home. Send us pictures of your Advent wreath and your family lighting the candles. We will share the pictures throughout December. Pictures can be emailed to Kelly Michel.
The season of Advent is understood today to be a time of preparation for Christmas. The word “advent” comes from the Latin adventus, which means “coming.” Over time in church history, the term came to refer to the season of preparation for celebrating Christ’s coming.
Why “preparation?” The people of Israel had been waiting hundreds of years for a messiah, or savior figure, to deliver them from oppression. After so many years of exile and persecution, many people had lost hope. Others dreamt of a military leader who would violently overthrow the Romans. Instead, the messiah came in the form of a vulnerable child, born of a virgin in a poor family living in an insignificant town—who defied everyone’s expectations.
We celebrate Advent to prepare our hearts for remembering this marvelous mystery. We reflect on the many themes in advent that have commonality to our experience today: yearning, suffering, anticipation, joy, peace, hope, and love.
Why candles? The symbols of the Advent candles are meaningful and exciting. Most important is the symbolism of light. The progressive lighting of candles symbolizes the coming of the spiritual light of Christ into the world. The Advent wreath itself (typically a circular garland of evergreen branches) is a symbol of eternity and unending love. Five candles are arranged on the wreath, and the first four are lit each Sunday leading up to Christmas. On Christmas Eve, we light the fifth candle that represents Christ.
The candles are three colors—purple, pink, and white. Purple symbolizes repentance and is also the color of royalty and the sovereignty of Christ as the “King of Kings.” Pink represents joy and represents a shift in the Advent season away from repentance and toward celebration. Finally, white represents purity, light, regeneration, and godliness. Candles are lit in the following order, but can be placed in your wreath however you wish:
1st | Purple, the Hope candle | lit on Sunday, November 29th
2nd | Purple, the Peace candle | lit on Sunday, December 6th
3rd | Pink, the Joy candle | lit on Sunday, December 13th
4th | Purple, the Love candle | lit on Sunday, December 20th
5th | White, the Christ candle | lit on Thursday, December 24th
How do I make an Advent wreath? Making an advent wreath is quite easy. Follow the hyper-links below to source all materials you will need or make a quick shopping trip to a local Christian bookstore like Wheaton Religious Gift Supply.
• Choose your evergreens.
Advent in a Box for families with preschool and elementary age children
First Pres invites you to draw deeper into the meaning of the season with Advent in a Box. This box will give families 4 weeks of activities to do together, and share the themes of Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love. In tandem with the sermon series, family devotionals will enhance your family time together. Simple crafts, baking, and sharing God’s love with others will enrich your understanding of Advent. One box per family is all you need.
Purchase a box now. For $35.00, you will get everything you need for each week of themes. Box pick up is Saturday, November 28 10-11:30am and Sunday, November 29, 1-2pm in the west parking lot. Other pick up times can be arranged by contacting Sue Clary.
November 28 UPDATE: Advent in a Box are sold out.
FPGEY Best Christmas Box for 6th-12th Grade students
We want parents to register for a “Best Christmas Box” for $30. Inside there will be Christmas Cookies to decorate, Christmas ornaments to decorate, and our FPGEY swag just in time for the Christmas season! We are getting Flannel Christmas Pants with the FPGEY logo on them! This is for 6-12th grade students to help bring their Zoom experience to life. Order your Best Christmas Box today! Boxes can be picked up on Tuesday, December 8, 4-6pm in the west parking lot.
Service of Lessons and Carols
…will take place on Sunday, December 20, 7pm. A popular tradition during the Advent, this service features readings of the Christmas story and a variety of Christmas carols.
Wishing You Love…
…is the fourth Advent theme. Beginning November 18, yard signs are available on a first come, first serve basis inside door 1 at the church. Signs will also be available during the Advent in a Box drive through pickups on November 28 and 29. If you need a sign delivered to your residence, please call the church office. A limited quantity of signs from the first 3 years of the Advent campaign (Wishing You Joy, Wishing You Peace, and Wishing you Hope) are also available on a first come, first serve basis. Display any or all! (Please don’t display signs in the parkway as the village will remove them.)
Christmas Eve | Wishing You Love
Celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ in a season where we need to be reminded more than ever. Modern, Classic and Children’s services will stream on the church website on Christmas Eve! On this night we light the Christ candle celebrating the birth of Jesus.
Our Classic service will feature strings, handbells, a choir, and other collaborative musical pieces as we share the hope of God’s love.
Our Modern service will feature lively music from the band and special collaborative musical pieces as we share the hope of God’s love.
Read this website page for details about Christmas Eve services and the Service of Lessons and Carols.