First Presbyterian Church of Urbana, a Member Church of the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. and More Light Presbyterians

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Sunday, December 4, 2022

Worship – In-Person and Streaming at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday morning; Advent Seminar at 10:45 a.m.

The image is “John the Baptist Preaching to the Masses,” by Pieter Brueghel the Younger.

Clarity. That is one gift of a holy Advent. On Sunday, we will contemplate together the spectacle of John the Baptist preaching as Matthew tells the story. John spoke of repentance. He spoke of having a winnowing fork and clearing the threshing floor. He spoke of separating the wheat from the chaff. We might find ourselves thinking, “Wait, what about hot chocolate and eggnog?” Join us on Sunday as we hear John’s message again and consider together how the clarity offered during Advent involves our ultimate allegiances.

Pastor David

In-Person Worship: Masking is strongly encouraged, especially if you are singing, (masks remain available in the Narthex if you do not have one), but is no longer required. We continue to strongly recommend that you keep up with boosters. Please plan to maintain social distancing and to hand sanitize often. During fellowship time when you are in close proximity to others, masking is highly recommended. If you are feeling unwell for any reason, please remain home and enjoy the services of worship online. Please understand that the pandemic is not yet over and conditions may require a return to masking at some point in the future.

In the Church Offices: Masking remains required when in the church offices and the Chapel.

Join Us for Sunday 9:30 a.m. Worship and 10:45 a.m. Advent Seminar

1. Facebook:
www.facebook.com/FirstPresChurchUrbana/
Scroll down to the post from that morning

2. Zoom click on: zoom.us/j/8144246357
Meeting ID: 814 424 6357 (if necessary)
Password 475210

3. Landline or phone that is not a smart phone:
1 (312) 626-6799.
Meeting ID: 814 424 6357 (if necessary)
Password 475210

Seminar Series: “Holy Disruption: Finding Advent in the Gospel of Mark”. The Gospel of Mark doesn’t have a Nativity story—so where’s the Advent message? It’s in every aspect of Jesus’ life, to his death and beyond. The Incarnation—God come to earth in human form to be baptized, teach, heal, eat, and die—is what we celebrate at Christmas, and Mark shows us just how radical and celebration-worthy it is! Holy Disruption presents a fresh understanding of the holiness of Christmas grounded, not in a conventional, cozy Christmas message, but through Mark's disquieting gospel which invites its readers to experience God's disruptive but transformative love for us and our world. Let Pastor David know if you would like a copy of the book. Join us in the chapel on Sundays, December 4 and December 11 at 10:45 a.m., for two more sessions on Holy Disruption.

Adult Seminars are held at 10:45 in the Chapel. Chairs are spaced which will reduce capacity to about 30, two Corsi-Rosenthal filter boxes ventilate the space, and masking is required.

Midday Prayer: Join us on Thursdays at 12:15 p.m., in the Chapel, for sharing of concerns and joys, hearing and contemplating scripture from the daily lectionary, and the offering of intercessions. These gatherings usually last 20 to 25 minutes and everyone is welcome. Masking in the Chapel is required.

The Wellness Committee invites you to a Blue Christmas Jazz Service: A service of remembrance and reflection. Sunday, December 18 at 4:00 p.m. at the church. This service is for those who are lonely, those who seek light in the darkness. Please join us for prayers, anointing, and candle lighting while we enjoy live blue jazz music.

Work Day Saturday, December 3: Due to windy, cold weather on November 19, the Building and Grounds Committee re-scheduled the work day for Saturday morning, December 3. We’ll be raking leaves, trimming shrubs, and taking care of other tasks to prepare the church grounds for winter. Work begins at 8:00 a.m., hot coffee and donuts will be available, and YOUR help will make a big difference. Please bring your rake and join us!

Hope from Food & More: Our cost to provide food and household items for 65 families each year has increased from $17,870 in 2021 to $19,357 in 2022 to an estimated $23,500 in 2023. Each year our partner congregations have given generously so that we always had enough to meet the needs of our partners. Your generosity gives us hope in a world with so many challenges.

Reverse Advent Calendar: Advent calendars have been a cherished holiday tradition for over 200 years. Whether it is a sticker, Bible verse, or a piece of candy, the excitement of opening a surprise each day of advent adds special excitement to the holiday season. This year we invite you to participate in a different type of activity. Each day of December you are encouraged to add an item to a container for the Food and More Food Pantry. A calendar listing the items is available in the narthex and office. After Christmas you may deliver it to the church office or leave a message with the office to schedule a pickup. Thank you for supporting this important mission.

Best Thrift Store in C-U! Thank you to all of our friends who voted us the Daily Illini’s Best Thrift Store in C-U! Our volunteers and friends are what make the shop so special. We really appreciate your support of our mission to promote reuse, maintain the historic house, and support local social services. And it’s your great donations that keep us in business. So if have gently-used, good condition clothing and household items, please keep us in mind. You can drop off donations any time the shop is open: Tuesdays and Saturdays, 9:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.
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