This week at MCC

November 27, 2022
First Sunday of Advent
Scripture: Isaiah 2:1-5, Matthew 24:36-44
Sermon: Unexpected Company

Christmas Eve Services: 5pm Family Candlelight Service, 11pm Candlelight Communion Service

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Midweek Update: 1st Sunday of Advent

Dear friends in Christ,

I hope all of you are doing well this week. I wish everyone traveling for Thanksgiving safe and on time travels! As we begin Advent this Sunday, we’ve got a number of things coming up in church:

11/27: First Sunday of Advent & Hanging of the Greens

11/27 is the first Sunday of Advent, and after worship, we’ll decorate the sanctuary for the coming Advent and Christmas season. Join us! Additionally, during worship, the Sunday School children are going to help me set up the advent wreath and lead us in lighting it.

Advent and Christmas Readers Needed:

  • Advent Wreath Lighting
    • We’re looking for volunteers to light the Advent Wreath and lead the prayer during the Sundays of Advent: 12/4, 12/11, and 12/18. Families or groups of friends welcome!
  • Christmas Eve: 5pm &11pm
    • For our two Christmas Eve services we need a number of readers to read the scripture lessons plus people to light the Advent Wreath at 5pm and 11pm. Please email me if you’re interested in any of these opportunities: kmanzi@middleburyucc.org

Middlebury Tree Lighting

The Middlebury Tree Lighting is Saturday 12/4 @4:30. Our church will again be providing hot chocolate.

Mission Projects

  • Star Tree
    • Stars for the Star Tree Children are available. Starting this Sunday, available stars will be on the Star Tree/Christmas tree at the front of the sanctuary. The sign up list will be on the Multiplication Table next to the tree.   Please print  your name and phone number next to the child you will be purchasing for and take their Star to affix to their wrapped package which will be due December 12th in the office.  Gift Range is  between $35.00 to $50.00.
  • Christmas Baskets for Middlebury Families
    • Next week sign ups for items for Christmas dinner baskets for three Middlebury families will go up on the bulletin board in the Social Hall.

Christmas Pageant: 12/11

Our annual Christmas pageant will be held on Sunday, December 11th, during the worship service.  There are parts for all ages, so if you’d like to volunteer, please sign up on the bulletin board in the social hall! We are looking for pageant players as well as readers, narrators, and singing roles.  If you’d like to participate, we’d love to have you!  For more information please see Valerie Beard. (vbeard@middleburyucc.org)

Christmas & New Year’s Services

12/24@5pm: Candlelight Family Christmas Eve Service

12/24@11pm: Candlelight Communion Service

12/25@10am: Christmas Day Service: We’re planning a shorter, more casual service with opportunity to sing favorite carols, hear the Christmas story, a short meditation on Christmas, and get a chance to ask Pastor Katrina anything you’ve wanted to know about Christmas/the Christmas story.

1/1@10am: New Year’s Day Service: This will be a shorter, more casual service, but we will have a sermon, communion, and an opportunity to sing carols and hymns welcoming in the New Year.

Trustees Update on the Roof

The past few months we’ve had a persistent leak from the flat roof on the new addition part of the building. This week a couple of our trustees have put in a lot of work resealing the seams on the roof, and we’re hopeful that this will take care of the issue. Thank you Russ and Sal!

Middlebury Community Thanksgiving Service: Thank You!

Thank you to our musicians, volunteers, and everyone who attended the service last night to give thanks and raise money to help our neighbors in Middlebury! Video of the service is up on our YouTube channel for anyone who missed it: https://youtu.be/yrdi4Jqwn9Y

General Comments

As look ahead to Advent on Sunday, I wanted to share this poem by Kate McIlhagga because I think it captures the sort of transition from fall to winter:

“Christ our Advent hope,
bare brown trees,
etched dark across a winter sky,
leaves fallen, rustling,
ground hard and cold,
remind us to prepare for your coming;
remind us to prepare for the time
when the soles of your feet will touch the ground,
when you will become one of us
to be at one with us.”

Happy Thanksgiving!

Peace,

Pastor Katrina

Midweek Update: Thanksgiving/Christ the King Sunday

Dear friends in Christ,

I hope all of you are doing well and staying warn as the weather turns colder. We have a busy week coming up as we head towards Thanksgiving and Advent.

Thanksgiving & Consecration Sunday: 11/20

This Sunday 11/20, we’ll be having a special service of Thanksgiving and dedicate our pledges for 2023. We’ll sing some classic Thanksgiving hymns and have special music by our choir.

11/20: Fruit and Vegetable Donations for Middlebury Food Bank

Thanks and giving for the holiday:  During our regular pre-Thanksgiving Service on Sunday, November 20th, we will be inviting everyone to come forward (or place there before the service) gifts of fresh fruits and vegetables that will be shared with the Food Bank to go to those in need. Suggestions are apples, potatoes (sweet and regular), turnips, carrots, onions and celery. Please be as generous as you can in sharing such precious fresh food with those who may typically only get canned.

Middlebury Community Thanksgiving Service: Tuesday 11/22 @7pm

In the spirit of the ecumenical Thanksgiving services of years past, this year we are hosting a Community Thanksgiving Service on Tuesday 11/22 at 7pm here at MCC with St. George’s Episcopal Church. The offering will go to support the Middlebury Food and Fuel Banks and nonperishable food items brought for the service will be donated to GWIM. There will be childcare provided in the nursery.

Here’s a link to the Facebook event to help get the word out: https://fb.me/e/2M5MkxcLs

Mission Projects

  • Thanksgiving baskets
    • Sign up sheets for donations for Thanksgiving dinner baskets for three Middlebury families are up on the bulletin board outside the kitchen near the Social Hall. Those items will be due in the office by November 21. 
  • Star Tree
    • Stars for the Star Tree Children will be available Sunday, November 20.  They will be placed on the multiplication table in the front of the sanctuary.  Please print  your name and phone number next to the child you will be purchasing for and take their Star to affix to their wrapped package which will be due December 12th in the office.  Gift Range is  between $35.00 to $50.00.

11/27: First Sunday of Advent & Hanging of the Greens

11/27 is the first Sunday of Advent, and after worship, we’ll decorate the sanctuary for the coming Advent and Christmas season. Join us!

Advent and Christmas Readers Needed:

  • Advent Wreath Lighting
    • We’re looking for volunteers to light the Advent Wreath and lead the prayer during the Sundays of Advent: 12/4, 12/11, and 12/18. Families or groups of friends welcome!
  • Christmas Eve: 5pm &11pm
    • For our two Christmas Eve services we need a number of readers to read the scripture lessons plus people to light the Advent Wreath at 5pm and 11pm. Please email me if you’re interested in any of these opportunities: kmanzi@middleburyucc.org

Thank you!

This past Sunday we had our Advent Workshop, and it was a huge success! Thank you to our Faith Formation Board, our youth, our kids, and everyone who donated materials! I’ve attached some pictures from the event (thank you Valerie!).

I also want to thank our Mission Board and all those who volunteered and made donations towards the lunches for GWIM on Veterans Day. We made 200 lunches! I’ve attached some pictures of everything getting all assembled.

General Comments

There’s a poem by Robert Herrick I often see around online during the run up to Thanksgiving. Typically you’ll see the title as “Lord ‘tis Thy plenty-dropping hand.” I was looking up more about the poem to share it, and it turns out it’s actually part of a larger poem “A Thanksgiving to God, for his House,” which was written by Herrick as a thanksgiving for the country vicarage/parsonage he lived in. (Herrick was a priest in England during the 17th century.) As one who lives in a parsonage, but with more conveniences than Herrick’s seems to have had, I thought it was a lovely expression of thanksgiving for all the everyday blessings of life and home:

Lord, Thou hast given me a cell
         Wherein to dwell,
A little house, whose humble roof
         Is weather-proof:
Under the spars of which I lie
         Both soft, and dry;
Where Thou my chamber for to ward
         Hast set a guard
Of harmless thoughts, to watch and keep
         Me, while I sleep.
Low is my porch, as is my fate,
         Both void of state;
And yet the threshold of my door
         Is worn by th’ poor,
Who thither come and freely get
         Good words, or meat.
Like as my parlour, so my hall
         And kitchen’s small;
A little buttery, and therein
         A little bin,
Which keeps my little loaf of bread
         Unchipp’d, unflead;
Some brittle sticks of thorn or briar
         Make me a fire,
Close by whose living coal I sit,
         And glow like it.
Lord, I confess too, when I dine,
         The pulse is Thine,
And all those other bits, that be
         There plac’d by Thee;
The worts, the purslain, and the mess
         Of water-cress,
Which of Thy kindness Thou hast sent;
         And my content
Makes those, and my beloved beet,
         To be more sweet.
‘Tis Thou that crown’st my glittering hearth
         With guiltless mirth;
And giv’st me wassail-bowls to drink,
         Spic’d to the brink.
Lord, ’tis Thy plenty-dropping hand
         That soils my land;
And giv’st me, for my bushel sown,
         Twice ten for one;
Thou mak’st my teeming hen to lay
         Her egg each day;
Besides my healthful ewes to bear
         Me twins each year;
The while the conduits of my kine
         Run cream, for wine.
All these, and better, Thou dost send
         Me, to this end,
That I should render, for my part,
         A thankful heart,
Which, fir’d with incense, I resign,
         As wholly Thine;
But the acceptance, that must be,
         My Christ, by Thee.

Peace,

Pastor Katrina