This Week's News and Updates
November 24, 2020
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I'm Crashing Your Thanksgiving
Rev. David

You know what, after 35 Sundays of Facebook Live streaming services, roughly 70 plus Zoom calls (all the virtual meetings), and a smattering of solo Facebook Live appearances, I think I might be getting the hang of this! I am feeling emboldened enough to invite myself to your Thanksgiving gathering! Lucky you! 

At 3:00 on Thanksgiving Thursday I'll be hopping on Agape's Facebook Live to offer a blessing for this most unusual of Thanksgiving Days. Just like on Sundays the chat line will be open and we can all wish each other a beautiful day and a happy Advent Season, which starts this Sunday.  

Whether you are just rising from the after lunch coma or anticipating a big dinner while bracing yourself to watch the Dallas Cowboys game, we hope you'll join us if you can!  
Scheduled Events
Holiday Giving


We have stocked our pantry with Holiday Meal boxes that contain everything you need to prepare a Holiday Dinner. If you are in need of assistance during this holiday season, please email us and we will arrange for delivery or a pick up time at the church. Please use "Thanksgiving" for the subject line.

We are grateful to the community members who donated to the Food Pantry to ensuring we all have enough.
Community Corner
Life is a verb.

It is a moving, breathing, never ending ride with joy, sorrow and every other emotion colliding to create a beautiful melody. It is the ebb and flow of every day we exist.

Inhale...
Exhale...
Repeat...

Over and over it goes until all breath is gone and others simply remember our song.

Often times, it can be exhausting giving thanks for all things. Truthfully, it trying times being grateful is the furthest thing from our minds. Sometimes, we must be thankful anyway. Choose to be thankful.

You are challenged to try and see past the negative and focus on the positive. Give thanks in all things, even those teaching moments that test our patience.
“What I Say to You I Say to All: Keep Awake”
Mark 13:37

First Sunday in Advent

Advent is defined as “coming” or “arrival”. Most of us think of Advent as the time to prepare for the arrival of the Christ child. However, Advent actually focuses on two different types of “coming” or “arrival”. Historically, the first two weeks of Advent deal with the second coming of Christ, while only the third and fourth week prepare for the arrival of the Christ child. That explains why, in this year’s Gospel text for the first Sunday in Advent, the scripture focuses on Jesus telling his disciples about his second coming. He says he will come again when the world is in great distress, and the disciples must be alert to these signs and not be caught unaware. He proclaims, “The truth is, before this generation has passed away, all these things will have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.” 
 
Of course, we know that Jesus’ second coming did not happen before “this generation”, his contemporaries, had passed away. But this reality hasn’t stopped individuals in every generation since then from fearing those who challenge the status quo, characterizing these challengers as the “other”. To those wanting to maintain the status quo, these challengers are the ones causing “great distress” and because of them, the world (at least as they know it) will come to an end. Many of us have been the target of this misuse of scriptures—it is a familiar way to condemn social justice movements, including challenging racism and white supremacy, patriarchy, homophobia, transphobia, HIV/AIDS phobia, gender queer phobia, etc. And Jesus’ knew all too well of the dangers when he advised his followers to “Keep Awake”. Immediately following Jesus’ admonition to stay awake, we learn that, “The chief priests and religious scholars were looking for some excuse to arrest Jesus and kill him.” In today’s language, Jesus is telling us to be “woke”—and for us to never let down our guard as we continue to challenge the status quo of inequality, economic disparity, discrimination, and privilege. In doing so, we are relying on his Gospel, making certain that his “words will not pass away.”

Amen.

PRAYER SUBMITTED BY:
Elder Nancy Maxwell (she/her)
Elder Nancy is a member of Spirit of Hope MCC, Kansas City, Missouri, USA, MCC of Topeka, Kansas, USA, and when in Brazil, attends ICM Belo Horizonte. She is a co-coordinator of the MCC lay leader certificate program, Laity Empowered for Active Discipleship (L.E.A.D.), and a member of the MCC Spiritual Directors Network.
The nights continue to get colder and the dark appears earlier and earlier these days. Amid this season that is more dark than light, Advent arrives right on time. If there has ever been a year to occupy the ritual of Advent, 2020 is it. Advent is what we call the four weeks that are preparing us for the return of the Light. The Winter Solstice, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Epiphany are all taking us to one place…new life. 

Join us for our Advent series, “The Life We Did Not Choose.”

Advent 1, November 29 - Release: “Honey, whatever that is you’re doin’, you gotta put it down.”
Advent 2, December 6 – Hold: “Honey, whatever that is you’re doin’, you gotta put it down and come hold this baby.”
Advent 3, December 13 – Love: “And love the baby.”
Advent 4, December 20 – “And Pray…”
Christmas Eve, December 24 – “What We Hold” (Time and Place TBA)


Join us on Facebook live every Sunday at 10:30 for our virtual service.

DECEMBER BIRTHDAYS

11/25 Gail Gore
11/27 Jimmy Marshall
11/30 Zoie Edwards
12/03 - Carol Boutwell
12/05 - Jim Simmons
12/09 - Dan Leaver
12/11 - Taylor Stephens 
12/15 - Cassy Batts
12/15 - Trish Ashton 
12/15 - Randall Roberts 
12/20 - Linda Crear
12/24 - Johnny Price 
12/26 - Pat Kaiser
12/27 - Val McMullan 
12/29 - Jo Pierce
12/30 - Phyllis Sasser