The Third Sunday of Advent - Joy

“I will not allow the light
of my life to be determined
by the darkness around me.”

These words were spoken by Sojourner Truth, a suffragette and fighter for women’s rights during and after slavery time. While I cannot know precisely the scope and nuance of her personal experience nor the full meaning behind her words, I find her historical statement to be a powerful proclamation given our current challenges of record-setting case counts, hospitalizations, deaths, and continued separation. Especially in the season of Advent.

Over the last few days several people have shared, in the midst of other topics of conversation, how sick and tired they are of all of this: how much they miss gathering with friends and family, how they grieve not worshipping together, especially on Christmas eve. Their words represent our broader experience - we all feel that way - we all feel the weight of the darkness around us.

I've also heard it said more than once that there is now light on the horizon because vaccines are part of the story of the spring that is to come. That is true and certainly extremely good news! Some of you will likely get that opportunity earlier in 2021 than others of us, but it is coming!

However, Advent beckons us to see the Light NOW - as it shines in the darkness. We are invited not just to hope in Advent, but to claim Joy! We are to be filled with and embody Love, even when there are others who choose fear and its offspring hatred.

I'm no Sojourner Truth, but in your Christmas Eve Bags you will find a statement of my own. It was prayerfully penned as I tried to find the right combination of "Christmas card worthy" words that would reflect the Spirit of Advent against the backdrop of lingering darkness and ongoing separation. These are the words that found me; I offer them to you:

From the church house to your house,
Christ is born anew wherever love abides.

Sojourner's words inspire me and fill my heart today. While I cannot know exactly what they meant for her, for me they mean that I still get to have my laughter, my sassiness, my thinking, my hope, my joy, my love of people. I get to have all of that no matter how ugly things look.

Choosing to have joy is an act of resistance; join me, my sisters and brothers, let us resist! Be sure to email or call Deanna so that we can prepare a Christmas Eve Bag for you and yours. I will not allow the light of my life to be determined by the darkness around me. Together we choose Joy!

With love and grace,
Pastor Lara
aka "The Vicar"
Your church staff is creating Christmas Eve Bags for each household and we need your help.

  • Please email Deanna with the number of people you expect to be present in your home on Christmas Eve. Feel free to email her now; the earlier we can have this information the better.

  • Bags will be available for pickup at the church:

Monday-Thursday,
December 14-17, from 1-4 pm
and
Saturday and Sunday,
December 19-20, from 8-10 am

  • If you are home-bound within a 15 mile radius of the church, please let Deanna know so that we can arrange to have your bag delivered.

  • If you reside out of town, please include that in your email so that we can send your bag via snail mail. If we do not have a physical address for you, this would be a great time to provide it.

We want everyone who worships with us on Christmas Eve to have a chance to receive a bag. We know this year will feel different, but we also know that the birth of the Christ Child is a celebration not bound by place or time.

You will receive 1 bag containing gifts and supplies for the number of people for whom you request that we prepare. When you come to pick up,
just give us the number you requested!

Please EMAIL DEANNA as soon as possible so we can ensure everyone has a bag that is right for them.


Apple Corps meets via Zoom at 9:30 every Sunday morning for casual fellowship. Class begins at 9:45.
The Zoom Meeting ID is 293-856-379 or click the link below to go directly to Zoom.
Branches meets via Zoom at 9:45 every Sunday morning. The Zoom Meeting ID is 213-928-173 or click the link below to go register and go to Zoom.
Genesis meets via Zoom at 9:30 every Sunday morning. The Zoom Meeting ID is 937 5166 7725 or click the link below to go register and go to Zoom.
"I CONNECT" meets via Zoom at 9:45 every Sunday morning.The Zoom Meeting ID is 963-430-720 or click the link below for Zoom.


Journey meets via Zoom at 9:30 every Sunday morning.The Zoom Meeting ID is 429-051-096 or click the link below for Zoom.
New Beginnings meets via Zoom at 9:45 every Sunday morning.The Zoom Meeting ID is 387-197-129 or click the link below for Zoom.
The Way meets via Zoom at NOON every Sunday morning.The Zoom Meeting ID is 450-965-323 or click the link below for Zoom.
Sunday School for preschool and elementary school meets via Zoom at 9:45. To maintain a secure site for our children, please email Ms. Robin for login information before Sunday.
Prayer Concerns & Sympathy
Please continue to check the Facebook Prayer Page for daily updates or concerns. To be redirected to the Martin UMC Care Team Prayer Ministry page, click here:



Martin Community: Debra & Isi Faletau, Doris Fash, Barb Herbison, Emily Herbison, John Longyear, Melissa Norton, Marcie Smith, Jim Shepherd, Jim Swinford


Family & Friends: Aunt Georgie (Priscilla Shipe's 100 yr. old aunt), Ryan Campanaro, Ronny Carter, Gwen Caylor, Cory Chalk, Jill Davis, Amy Ellis, Dealia & Anne Farmer, Diane Frazier, Susan Geddes, Will Hughes, Gloria Jackson, Diane Kunce, George Parker, Kathy Walton

Prayer Requests Specifically Regarding COVID-19: Jan Morgan who has tested positive, and Randy Morgan who is quarantining, Nita & Paul Beckham, Michele Chalk's friends Dan & Tami, Line Falahola, Don Formby's brother- in- law Tommy Counts, Mary Gladstone's friend Craig Darr, Ted McIlvain's cousin Kathy and her husband Jimmy, Jim Shepherd's son-in-law, Cheryl Stark's mother, Phyllis, Robert & Carmen White

Names remain for two weeks
unless otherwise requested.