Florence Congregational Church
Thursday, February 20, 2020
A Place to Connect

December 2016/January 2017

December is only a few days away, yet we have not seen much snow yet. For some that is just fine, for others it’s terrible. Advent season is here (actually beginning November 27th) bringing with it all the expectations of festivals, parties, decorating Christmas trees, presents and family gatherings. In my younger years, I eagerly waited for snow before Christmas to make everything white and clean and full of wonder. There is something about the magical sparkling snow that speaks to the beginning of our Advent season and it never seems quite right to begin with only the brown grass and leafless trees. It has a way of orienting us to our Christian calendar year.

Advent is a very special time of year for us as Christians. It is when we celebrate the birth of Jesus. It is not uncommon to have a birthday cake for Jesus. Imagine a cake with approximately 2050 candles. It is a time when life can get very chaotic and confusing for many. A time if not carefully planned will sap every bit of energy from the body and joy from the spirit within us. Part of it is our cultural pace; perhaps another is the adrenaline rush of the wonder and excitement of children, family and friends, gatherings, feasting, extra treats, candy and the lack of sleep.

Maybe this year could be different. Think about new ways you might honor and celebrate this wonderful and yes “spiritual” time of year. Are there things you could do differently to make it even more special? Perhaps sitting down with your child, niece, nephew or grandchild by the Christmas tree in a rocking chair and talking about the true meaning of Christmas. Maybe you would find a new peace in beginning a devotional reading time each morning or evening?

Perhaps in combination to reading you might make the effort to share in the Advent worship services here at the church and the Christmas Eve service. This is a special time that we gather as God’s people recognizing the peace and wonder God has given us in the birth of his son. We are reminded of the Good News of Christ birth which we are invited to share with each other and people we have never met. Spend some time in quiet thinking about the wondrous love and peace given to us in the Christ child, God’s special gift to us; that we might in our brokenness find the joy of wholeness in his son. The first Sunday of Advent focuses on the hope we have in Christ, followed by love, then joy, then peace, and then the light of Christ on Christmas Eve. This year, Christmas Day falls on Sunday. If you have a family gathering on Christmas Eve that prevents you from coming, try for Sunday.

Other News: Some of you already know, Sophrona and I recently attended a class for food safety certification. We completed the course and passed the ServSafe certification test. With this, we are now allowed to restart our monthly suppers. We are working to have our first supper in January. However, prior to that supper, we need to have a short re-training session with all who have been helping any new folk who might be interested in how they can help. Additionally, there are a few things we need to change in our food serving lines. We appreciate all who have generously donated their time and energy to the suppers. The suppers are wonderful in many ways, especially the community building component and fellowship we have in the kitchen. I hope you make yourself available and help kick the suppers off in January. Please let Sophrona or me know if you are willing. Until then, I pray that your Advent journey and Christmas celebrations are filled with great joy and peace.


π Pastor Irv


Florence Congregational Church • 130 Pine Street, Florence, Massachusetts 01062 • 413.584.1325