We have lots of new things in store this year for Walk Thru Bethlehem, including a brand-new video that speaks about the journey to Bethlehem and what it's like to walk in the footsteps of those who first visited the manger 2,000 years ago.
In the same way that Mary and Joseph made the arduous journey to Bethlehem, we invite the Nashville community to return home each year and spend time with the Christmas story as we bring it to life right here at Woodmont. In a world that often feels complicated and divided, we find ourselves together in a small town at a simple stable, where something very small became something very big and changed the world.
This event is one of the best things we do at Woodmont and we need your help to put it on! Click the button below to sign up and be part of something special as we give back and serve our city by ushering in the Christmas season in the best possible way.
Our annual Hanging of the Greens service is Sunday, Dec. 3, at 5:00 PM in the sanctuary, followed by The Tasting party in Drowota Hall. The service marks the beginning of the Advent season and features carols sung by the congregation and the Cherub Choir, Grace Notes, Handbell Choir, Jubilation, and the Chancel Choir.
The Tasting Party is a special Christmas tradition at Woodmont where everyone brings a favorite holiday goodie to share with others. Punch and hot cider are provided. Bring your food to either the kitchen or to Drowota Hall before going to the sanctuary.
New times for Christmas Eve services
We're doing something new this year as our 5:00 PM service is now a candlelight service focused on families who have children in both the elementary and middle/high school age range, while our 4:00 PM service remains focused on our youngest families (1st grade and below) with the Napkin Nativity.
Also new, our evening services have shifted earlier to 6:30 PM and 10:00 PM.
With Christmas Eve falling on a Sunday this year, there will be no Bridge service that morning, but our two sanctuary services will continue as normal.
Our full Christmas Eve schedule is:
9:30 AM – Informal service
11:00 AM – Traditional service
4:00 PM – The Napkin Nativity (young families)
5:00 PM – Children & Youth Candlelight
6:30 PM – Candlelight & Communion
10:00 PM – Candlelight & Communion
All services are in the sanctuary.
Envy, Gratitude, & Contentment
by Clay Stauffer
Thanksgiving week is a perfect time for us to acknowledge the fundamental difference between envy and gratitude, coveting and contentment. American culture has a consumer-driven economic system that, to some degree, fuels itself on coveting and wanting what others already have. Are we not told over and over again by marketers and advertisers that we deserve things that are bigger, better, and nicer than what we have? Are we not told that we would be so much happier if we just went out and bought whatever it is they are promoting because we deserve it? Isn’t the American Dream predicated on the fundamental concept of having a better life than the previous generation? We don’t just want to give our kids what we had – we want to give them something better, right? Through social media, most people run a highlight reel of their life. And then we wonder why we are never satisfied and why we remain restless and discontent.
There was an intentional study done at Harvard over a 75-year period. They tracked 268 male students who graduated from Harvard College between the years of 1938 and 1940, men who have now mostly passed away, in order to find out what makes for a happy and meaningful life over the long haul. Here’s what they discovered. Love is what matters most. Connection to other people and forming friendships is what matters. Moving from self-centeredness to connection is what matters, and working through challenges and adversity in life makes us who we are. Without adversity and disappointment, we cannot build character and learn resilience. The research found that money and power, although important in achieving business success, do not necessarily equate to more happiness unless they are accompanied by the other things that bring us love, connection, and joy. There are some lonely billionaires still looking for purpose.
Duke theologians Stanley Hauerwas and Will Willimon once said, “Our problem as humans is not that we are full of desire, aflame with unfulfillment. Our problem is that we long for that which is unfulfilling. We attempt to be content with that which can never satisfy... what we want is power and status. Alas, we find that no matter what we have acquired, there is always someone we envy.”
We all have a God-sized hole in our heart and we throw everything under the sun at it – sex, money, power, status, alcohol, drugs, you name it. Nothing can fill it once and for all. Only a deep spirituality and connection with God can take away the restlessness. We should heed the words of the Apostle Paul as we approach Thanksgiving and focus on the good things of life. “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
There is too much negativity, polarization, contempt, and cynicism in our culture. It becomes toxic. Paul later continues, “I have learned to be content with whatever I have. I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty.” Being grateful for what we already have can help eliminate fear and anxiety, envy and jealousy, and lead us to a life of gratitude and contentment.
Welcome, new members!
This Sunday, Nov. 26: "When God Gathers God's People"
Rev. Jay Hutchens
Ezekiel 34:11-15, Ephesians 1:20-23, & Matthew 25:31-40
Our schedule this Sunday is:
8:30 AM – Continental breakfast in the gym
9:30 AM – Informal service in the sanctuary with livestream
9:40 AM – The Bridge service in the chapel with livestream
11:00 AM – Traditional service in the sanctuary with livestream
The Bridge "Deck the Halls" this Sunday
Our Advent "Deck the Halls" day for The Bridge and Carpenter Chapel is Nov. 26 from 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM, and our team would love to have your helping hands as they join together to prepare our chapel for worship during Advent. To RSVP, contact Tammy Morgan at firstname.lastname@example.org, which will guarantee you a free lunch at the decorating party! This year, we're bringing back the 12-foot tree and will decorate it with traditional Chrismons, or "Christ monograms," decorations of symbols that tell the story of the life of Jesus. On Dec. 3, the first Sunday in Advent, we'll hang some additional decorations during worship together.
Order your Advent poinsettias
Each year during Advent, our sanctuary is beautifully appointed with poinsettias. Members may purchase poinsettias in honor or memory of family and friends. Poinsettias are in 6 1/2” foil-wrapped pots and $12 each.
The deadline to order is Nov. 29. After the 11:00 AM service on Dec. 10, you may take home your poinsettia to enjoy or give as a gift.
Please bring all Angel Tree gifts to the Gathering Hall tree by this Sunday, Nov. 26, at noon. Be sure to sign in your drop-off on the sheets by the tree. If you drop off during the week and can’t get into the Gathering Hall, please take gifts to the church office. Thank you, Woodmont, for supporting Fannie Battle's children and parents!
Volunteers are needed to load the truck with Angel Tree gifts on Friday, Dec. 1 at 8:30 AM. Afterward, volunteers are needed to unload the truck at Fannie Battle and take gifts into the building. It’s a fun morning of helping others! Contact Tracy or Ann to join either the loading or unloading crew.
Our Boy Scout Troop is selling beautiful Christmas wreaths with a large red bow for $35 per wreath and you can still order online for the next few days. You can pick up your wreath from the new wing of the church this Sunday, Nov. 26. If you can’t pick yours up then, the wreaths will also be available in the church office during weekly office hours (Monday through Friday, 9 AM to 5 PM).
If you've signed up for a costumed role for Walk Thru Bethlehem, we want you to know that we need you to make plans to pick up your costume BEFORE the day of the event. Please do NOT wait until Dec. 10 to do this! We need everyone to get what they need in advance to enable a smooth transition of shifts. This lets our team focus on our guests and the unforeseen needs that will certainly emerge with thousands of visitors on our campus.
We've made available several dates for you to pick up your costume, and you can come any time at one of them listed below. The costume room is upstairs in the attic of the mansion, so come to the front door and ring the bell for the office staff to let you in.
For this fifth episode, Moriah is joined in the pew by Alejandro Medina III. Alejandro is a photographer, videographer, songwriter, producer, and owner of 3rd Lion Productions, a one-stop shop for independent musicians. They talk about taking chances while pursuing excellence, time management, creativity by capturing the moment, and finding blessings in an ADHD diagnosis. Come dive into this amazing conversation and be inspired to live into your natural creative abilities in whatever profession you are in.
How do we stand before you in our humble garb of flesh and bone
and thank you for all that we are —
divinely-made, tenderly loved, and eternally-bound?
How do we say thank you for the gift of our soul?
That exquisite part of us that the world cannot have
because it belongs to You.
The place where You dwell so we are never alone.
The part of us that will live infinitudes.
How do we say thank you for giving us our mothers and our fathers,
our sons and daughters, friends and enemies,
neighbors and strangers —
To practice love, mercy, and especially grace?
How do we say thank you for the obstacles placed ,in our path,
the bruised knees and broken hearts
that reveal how strong and resilient You created us to be?
How do we say thank you for the promised dawn
that breaks through our dark night,
ushering in new joy in the morning?
How do we say thank you for the second, the third
the infinite chances — you give us to rise?
To love again (and better),
to forgive, and finally be set free,
to trust You with the impossible,
and watch You turn a miracle,
daily saving us.
You have gifted us with an extravagance of blessings.
How do we say thank you?
It all comes down to Love.
Let it be said:
We loved beyond our capacity, and
made You smile.
Sunday, Nov. 19
G.E.M.S. meeting Nov. 28
"Long Time Coming: A Christmas Celebration with Beloved Texts and
Hymns of the Season" is the theme for our next G.E.M.S. meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 28, from 11:30 AM to noon in Room 105. Our own Justin Gung, who is always inspiring, will present the program and get the group off to a wonderful start for Christmas. Come and be inspired by what he has to say as well as the texts and hymns which bring a message of what Christmas is truly all about. Sarah Huffman will lead carols on her violin. Questions? Contact Edith Johnston at email@example.com
First Christian Church of Abilene, TX, will be hosting an ordination service for Graham Watson on Saturday, Dec. 2, at 12:30 PM. This will mark the beginning of ordained ministry for the soon-to-be Rev. Graham Watson! As you may know, Graham served on our staff as our Vanderbilt Divinity School Intern from 2021-2023 and also helped with our youth ministry this past spring and summer. The even will be livestreamed on the church's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/fccabilene. You can send Graham a card, gift, or a note at firstname.lastname@example.org