Advent and Christmas @ Carrier Mills First United Methodist Church
Sunday, November 27 marks the beginning of the Advent Season, a four week period of watchful waiting in anticipation of the Savior's birth on Christmas Eve. Although we know that the Christ Child, Jesus, was born in a manger in Bethlehem more than 2,000 years ago, we are not unlike the faithful who kept watch for centuries until that miraculous night when the skies were suddenly filled with the sounds of heavenly choirs singing and proclaiming the great joy of Jesus' birth to stunned shepherds quietly tending their herds. They immediately went in search of the infant and bowed in reverent prayer before him. We are also like the wise men who saw and followed a star over a great many miles to bear witness to the fulfillment on an ancient prophecy and to bring the newborn child precious gifts. As we watch and wait, we have a chance to prepare our hearts to receive, anew, God's greatest gift to humankind, the wondrous blessing of His son.
If you're seeking a more meaningful Christmas this year, we invite you to join us in worship on Sundays at 9:30 am as we journey together through the Advent Season, and hope that you will also make our two special Christmas services the heart of your holiday celebrations. On Christmas Eve, Saturday, December 24 from 5 - 7 pm, we will offer Candlelight Communion. On Christmas Day, Sunday, December 25 at 9:30 am we will celebrate the Christ Child's birth with a traditional, joy-filled worship service. We also offer a contemporary worship gathering, The Rising, on Sunday evenings at 6:30 pm.
Our church calendar reflects the priority we place on living our faith and serving others in God's name. If you would like to share the spirit of Christmas with our friends and neighbors in need, we encourage you to get involved with one of our seasonal outreach projects. You are also welcome to take part in our holiday social events and weekly Christian Education / Sunday School classes.
Sunday, 11.20 @ Noon - Angel Tree Collection begins. Help bring a little holiday spirit and joy to children and teens in need throughout the Carrier Mills - Stonefort area. Select one, or more, tags from the Angel Tree and bring your wrapped gifts to the church by Noon on Sunday December 18.
Sunday, 11.27 @ 9:30 am - UMW Sunday / First Sunday of Advent. The worship theme throughout the Advent Season, a time of watchful waiting, will be The Gift of Christmas: What God has Done for Us. All too often our Christmas focus is on the gifts we exchange rather than on greatest gift God has given us, His son, Jesus Christ. Born into the lowliest of human circumstances, Jesus grew into man whose life, and death on a cross, changed the world, and our lives, forever. Join us throughout the four weeks of Advent as we shift our focus to this precious gift from God.
Award-winning educator and author Wilda R. Young will deliver the message. As a child, Wilda had a love of language. She enjoyed sharing this passion with the ninth through twelfth grade students in her grammar, literature and Spanish classes at Harden High School where she taught for 35 years. She holds an undergraduate degree from Eastern Illinois University and a graduate degree from Southern Illinois University - Carbondale. Now retired, she and her husband, Robert, reside in Shawnee National Forest.
In 2013 she published a memoir, Fishhooks in Treetops: Connecting a Father and Daughter. The synopsis of the book published on Amazon reads as follows, "We are busy people sometimes so busy making a living that we forget to stay connected with those we love. We even forget to make memories. This was not the case for Marion Mosley, a busy Southern Illinois man who served as farmer, salesman, pastor, fisherman, and father, among other things. He wrote down events he remembered about author Wilda Young's childhood and insisted that she do the same. The result is Fishhooks in Treetops . It recalls fishing trips, spelling contests, revival meetings, music lessons, disciplinary actions, racial tension, and tragic accidents. This memoir shares entertaining events in the life of a Christian family in the fifties and sixties. They illustrate that all families experience joys and sorrows as children grow up. Opportunities for teaching and learning abound! Join Wilda Young and her father as they connect on this memorable trip. Observe their relationship as they tangle their fishing lines and tangle with each other. See how their remembered events shape character and teach valuable lessons. Fishhooks in Treetops seeks to inspire you to make connections for your own journey down memory lane."
Saturday, 12.3 @ 8 am - United Methodist Men Monthly Meeting. We welcome all men in the Carrier Mills - Stonefort area, regardless of denomination, to join our new, casual, monthly men's group. The focus of the group is to help each man grow spiritually while deepening the bonds of friendship through studies, discussion and mission/service projects. Sy, DeShawn and Monty will prepare the breakfast. Scott Deuel will deliver a short devotion. If you're looking to lead a more Christ-centered life in world that has seemingly placed faith on the back-burner, we hope you'll join us.
Sunday, 12. 4 @ 9:30 am - The Second Sunday of Advent. Join us as we continue our Advent worship theme The Gift of Christmas: What God has Done for Us.
Saturday, 12.10 @ 9 - 11 am - The 2016 FREE Community Breakfast. Children and adults from throughout the Carrier Mills - Stonefort are invited to join us in Fellowship Hall for a holiday breakfast featuring fun, fellowship, great food, and Santa! On the menu are biscuits with sausage gravy, scrambled eggs and french toast sticks, donuts and juice, milk and coffee. There will be a candy cane hunt and door prizes for the kids, along with a treat bag and the chance for you to take some photos of Santa with your kids. This wonderful event is jointly sponsored by The Spirit and Edge adult Sunday School classes at Carrier Mills First United Methodist Church.
Sunday, 12.11 @ 9:30 am - The Third Sunday of Advent. We look forward to welcoming you to worship as we continue our Advent worship theme The Gift of Christmas: What God has Done for Us.
Sunday, 12.18 @ 9:30 am - The Fourth Sunday of Advent. We hope that you'll join us in worship as we conclude our Advent worship theme The Gift of Christmas: What God has Done for Us.
Sunday, 12.18 @ 1 - 2 pm - The 3rd Sunday Food Pantry Distribution. Whether you're an individual or a family need in the Carrier Mills - Stonefort area, we encourage you, our neighbors and friends, to utilize our church's food pantry to help sustain yourself and / or your family members.
Sunday, 12.18 @ 1:30 pm - The Angel Tree Gift Distribution. Moms, dads and guardians of our angel tree kids and teens should plan to stop by to collect the Christmas gifts awaiting their children. It is our way of extending the joy of this holiday season to all the children and teens in need in our community. (Donors should plan to bring their wrapped gifts to the church by Noon on December 18.)
Sunday, 12.18 @ 6 - 8 pm - All Church Christmas Party. The entire church is invited to join us for an evening of food, games and caroling. The evening will begin with dinner: smoked pork loin sandwiches (with Bill's famous chow), hot dogs, chili , desserts and drinks will be served. Afterwards we'll play some games and conlude the evening with the singing of Christmas Carols. This special holiday evening is The Spirit Class' gift to the church for their great support throughout the year. The Edge Class will help host the event.
Monday, 12.19 @ 2 - 6:30 pm - Red Cross Blood Drive. Give the gift of life this holiday season. Contact the organizer of this blood drive, Sarah Absher, through the church office to schedule a donation time.
Saturday, 12.24 @ 5 - 7 pm - Candlelight Communion in the Sanctuary. This annual tradition is a beautiful way to enter into the joy, wonder and sacred nature of the Christ Child's birth. In the flickering candlelight, surrounded by seasonal decorations and filled with the sounds of quiet Christmas hymns and carols, individuals and families will have the opportunity to pray, reflect and receive Holy Communion. (The United Methodist Church practices Open Communion meaning that all are welcome at God's table.)
Sunday, 12.25 @ 9:30 am - Christmas Sunday Worship. As the old Christmas Carol invites, "Come all ye faithful," to a joyous celebration of the Christ Child's birth. Before you open your gifts or head-off to visit with family and friends, join us in a special worship service where, through music and word, we will open our hearts to receive God's greatest gift, Jesus,
the true heart and meaning of the Christmas season. THERE WILL BE NO SUNDAY SCHOOL.
WOW Youth Fellowship meets Sundays from 5 - 6:30 throughout the school year.
WOW is an active group of Junior and Senior High students
who come together to for fun and the opportunity to deepen their spirituality
through study and service. Newcomers are always welcome.
The Rising gathers for worship each Sunday from 6:30 to 8 pm.
This casual, contemporary worship service features great music and inspirational messages.
Worship leaders are Ian Hardison and Ashley Broom Hardison.