ADVENT THROUGH THE AGES

Advent has been celebrated as far back as fourth-century Europe - the Dark Ages when disease and hopelessness ravaged much of the world. The Catholic denomination (and later; its branches including Episcopal, Presbyterian, Lutheran and Methodist) found a way to remember Christ during the four weeks that lead up to Christmas day. Advent was created to restore hope in God and encourage faith in Christ after countless millions had died of incurable diseases like the Black Plague. Thoughtful priests took the wreath-symbol which had been placed by loved ones on the numerous new graves and made it a holder for five significant candles: three purple, one pink, and in the center... the Christ candle - pure white.

Each candle on an Advent wreath represents an emotion: hope, peace, joy and love. I adore this fact about Advent. The human side of the miraculous birth of Christ can easily be eclipsed by all the liturgical "pomp" that is repeated year after year or by the secular traditions and commercial frenzy of the season. Advent keeps Christmas emotional and human; beginning with the first Sunday after Thanksgiving, when the first purple candle in the Advent wreath is lit. This is the “hope” candle.

Advent hope-readings pierce our hearts as families gather around this initial glimmer of Christ’s birth. Congregations begin to anticipate the coming king as if he were arriving for the first time all over again. No doubt this waning year has been a disappointment for most on many different levels. Upheaval. Uncertainty. Disappointment. Frustration. Many beloved people are no longer with us.

As we light the Candle of Hope and gaze at its flame, we are reminded: Christ is our hope no matter what life brings. He never leaves us or forsakes us. He has a wonderful plan and a purpose for every life - through to its last breath. Better yet, he is the author of miracles and all that is good in the world. Suddenly Christmas comes alive anew. With the strike of the match and the igniting of a simple flame, we are aligned once more with the true meaning of Christmas. In the glow of the light we see it, we feel it - a rare and quiet joy.

I encourage you to prepare to light the Candle of Hope this Sunday. Build your own Advent wreath or simply light a candle (it doesn't have to be purple). Prepare your space of worship so that your hands can join mine in lighting the first candle of Advent. Together we will step into Hope and experience joy anew.

With much love,
Pastor Lara aka "The Vicar"
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:


Our love and sympathy goes to Maggie Arnold and family on the death of her brother in law, Larry Maus; Deanna Molsbee and family on the death of Sallie Littlepage.

We also extend our love and sympathy to the family of Teresa Lindsey; the family of J.D. Caldwell; the Falahola family on the death of Roy; and Mary Gladstone in the death of her dear friend Dan Puckett.

Martin Community: Nita & Paul Beckham, 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, Flossie Harris, Will Hughes, June Ivey, Gloria Jackson, Diane Kunce, George Parker, Deb Viney, Kathy Walton, Maggie Arnold's sister

Prayer Requests Specifically Regarding COVID-19: Nita & Paul Beckham, Michele Chalk's friends: Dan & Tami, Pam Cook's sister & niece, Les & Denise Foley, Line Falahola, Don Formby's sister-Linda Holmes-Bruce Counts and grandnephew -Noah, Jim Shepherd's son-in-law, Cheryl Stark's mother, Phyllis, Robert & Carmen White

Names remain for two weeks
unless otherwise requested.