Is Advent mandatory?

December 9, 2021

From Pastor Joey

Is Advent Mandatory?

The short answer is no—and in a way, yes! The liturgical calendar that we use today began to be developed in the Christian Church around the fourth century A.D. The church calendar as it is known today was developed in medieval prayer books. Dennis Bratcher in his article The Seasons of the Church Year writes, “The Christian church…has long used the seasons of the year as an opportunity for festivals and holidays, sacred time set aside to worship God as the Lord of life…The Christian Church year focuses on the life and ministry of Jesus.”

While observing the Christian year is not mandatory, it can be a powerful tradition, unifying Christians throughout time and geography. “By systematically remembering and re-experiencing the key aspects of the life and ministry of Jesus, we are refreshed, deepened and reconfirmed in our own faith and depth of understanding. And because we are not the same person with the same understandings from year to year, our experience of the Church Seasons is similarly different and deeper each year.” (From the East Congregational Church of Milton, Massachusetts)

The season of Advent is the first season of the Christian year—the time of waiting, expecting, preparing for the birth of Jesus which culminates on Christmas Eve. The spiritual significance of Advent can be that we go beyond our culture’s hype and frenetic energy and center on the message of the scriptures and carols to see anew the mystery of God’s promise of Emmanuel—God with us!

One of my favorite Christmas songs is The Advent Prayer by Allen Pote.

Come Holy Jesus, come to free us from our sin.

Come Holy Jesus and make us pure within.

Inspire each heart with illumined surprise,

Enkindle a flame anew.

Increase our faith and strengthen our lives.

Show us the joy of living our lives in you.

Let this Advent season be the time that we pray, come Lord Jesus, quickly come. Help us to continue to turn our lives toward God like flowers to the sun. Let us repent of our unfaithfulness and rejoice that God sends us this precious Savior!

Prayer Concerns that we have:

  • For those who continue to go through physical struggles, those who are dealing with cancer, or other health situations. For those who are emotionally feeling lost and alone.
  • For those who haven’t been vaccinated yet; for all those who are ill from the Covid-19 virus; for those families who have lost loved ones to the virus; and for essential workers.
  • For peace in our country.
  • For Katherine Parker, missionary to Nepal.

Announcements for December 9-18, 2021

Christmas Eve Service Remote

For those who won’t be able to be in the sanctuary, the service will be on the Trinity website and YouTube (hopefully) by Christmas Day.

Sunday In-Person Services

Sunday services in the church are at 10 am.

Current COVID-19 Protocol

The following Safety guidelines are still in effect: show your vaccination card (if not on file), wear masks; check-in when you arrive; practice social distancing and no congregational singing.

A Little Music!

Trinity has been given the go-ahead for singing from soloists and ensembles. Let us all give thanks for this small step forward.

Christmas Eve Offering to Benefit Nepal

Katherine Parker (stationed in Nepal as a missionary for the General Board of Global Missions of the UMC), has indicated that there is a great need for treatment (surgery and physical therapy equipment, wheelchair-accessible ramps, toilets, and more) for the care and assistance of disabled people in Nepal. Any donation, large or small is greatly appreciated! If you choose to make a donation, please issue a check to TUMC, indicating “Christmas Eve” in the memo section. There is a display in our new Information Center (located just inside, left of Fellowship Hall) that shares additional details, as well as biographical info on Katherine Parker.

Let’s give Trinity some TLC!

Come on out to Trinity TLC where we do light maintenance around the church while sharing in fellowship. We meet every two weeks, and our next meeting is Friday, December 10 at 9:30 AM for a couple of hours. We will be cutting grass (if needed), doing light maintenance and upkeep, doing jobs that need doing, and of course, having a cup of coffee and light eats. All are welcome! For more info, call Andy Pitts at 804-724-3401.

Sequim Community Aid Toy Give-Away

December 15, 9 am to 4 pm at Sequim Prairie Grange, 290 Macleay Road. Donations can be dropped off at The Co-op, Grocery Outlet or Starbucks.

Pacific NW Conference Disaster Fund

In view of recent flooding in Washington State, donations can be sent to the PNW Conference Disaster Fund by writing a check to TUMC, indicating Advance #352 in the memo section.

The Sequim Food Bank

They are currently accepting feminine hygiene products and baby products. Also needed are cans and shelf-stable low-sodium soups, low-sugar cereals, macaroni and cheese boxes, and various condiments (i.e. ketchup, mustard, etc.). If you would like to donate any of the above items, you may bring them to the church and place them in the food container near the table at the front door. Note: Please donate only the items that are listed above. Thank you for caring!

Holiday Food Box Distribution:

Friday, December 17 from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm. We are grateful to know that we have enough volunteers already signed up to help. Another way you might consider helping would be to pick up/deliver food to someone (family member, friend, or neighbor) who does not have transportation.

Online Recorded Services

The Sunday service is being recorded and available online the next day, Monday.

In Consideration of Others

As more people are becoming sensitive to fragrances, please avoid wearing perfumes and using scented lotions if attending in-person worship or meetings at TUMC. Thank you!

Home Maintenance Funds Are Still Available

TUMC Missions Ministry has funds available to help folks with necessary home maintenance projects. Please let your friends and neighbors know that this is not just limited to the TUMC congregation. It is truly “neighbors helping neighbors.” This might include basic home repairs, yard cleanup, ramps, grab bars, and other in-home needs. One household could receive one grant per year with a maximum of up to $500. Confidential requests will go through Lois’s Legacy. Contact Senior Ministries Office 360-683-4307 for further information.

Recycle Empty Inkjet and Laser Printer Cartridges

The recycle container for empty inkjet and laser printer cartridges and used cell phones is now in the church office. Besides helping the environment by recycling, the church is paid for every item donated. Thanks so much for your continued (or new) participation in this program!

Exposure to COVID

If you have been in the church and find out later that you were exposed to COVID prior to being here, please contact Jim Stoffer, 360-775-9356, or jamesstoffer@wavecable.com and the church office, 360-683-5367 or church@sequimtumc.org. There are steps and processes that we will need to take to ensure the health and safety of TUMC and our community.

Office Hours

TUMC Office hours are 9 am-2 pm Monday through Friday. Remember to follow COVID-19 protocols: show your vaccination card (if not on file); wear masks; sign in when you arrive; and practice social distancing.