Our Worship Focus - Advent through Epiphany

Pastor Neil Buono

The Christmas Season (Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, and the Sundays after the Epiphany)

We are returning to the three-year Revised Common Lectionary (RCL), following a three year run through the historic one-year lectionary.   

This Christmas season, our services focus around the broad theme of all that is new in Christ.  The key text for this theme comes from the appointed psalm for Christmas, Psalm 96 “ "Oh, sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth! Sing to the Lord, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day.

We sing a new song because the coming of Christ into our world ushers in a new day for us and for all creation! Advent and Christmas services will invite reflection on how the coming of God in Christ opens the way for us to be made new.  Epiphany services will invite reflection around how the coming of God in Christ opens the way for all the world to be made new.  The overall focus is on the encouraging Gospel that God with us is also and always God for us and this is the reason we sing a new song!

We will once again host a Blue Christmas service on the Wednesday before Christmas. It is because of the gift of the holy child that we can find the hope to sing a new song even in the midst of our darkest days.  The midweek Advent services will look at how each of the Gospel accounts begin, as we explore how the start of each Gospel might help us shape the new song we sing.

The contemporary service and blended services will follow the same general theme, though different readings will form the foundation for the meditation.  The contemporary service will generally use the appointed epistle reading for the reflection and the blended service will use the Old Testament and Gospel readings.

Taken together, our goal is to launch the new church year with an eye to a hopeful and encouraging year together as individuals, families and communities “ all this as we make our way toward Reformation 500!