Updates for December 16, 2011

Bible study continues each Sunday from8:00 to9:00 a.m. in Stacy’s study. We are currently reading through the Gospel of Luke. All are welcome. No previous theological study or Biblical literacy is needed. Just come with an open heart and curious mind. Coffee and tea are provided.

Many thanks go to all of the cast members of Sunday’s pageant, and to the many people who made the cast’s participation possible: parents, the CE Committee, and our director Kent Wittler.

To celebrate the pageant and to remember our sisters and brothers in Nicaragua, the kids are invited to party Nicaraguan-style with pinatas in the Vestry following worship.

Children are invited to join in worship on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Sunday School resumes on January 8.

Children who would like to take part in the Christmas Eve tableau should plan to arrive at church by6:45 p.m. on Christmas Eve. Parents should accompany their kids to the Littlehale Room to claim a part and a costume. Participants will sit with their parents during the service and will be cued to come forward for their part in the tableau during the appropriate hymn.

Living Waters Prayer Group continues on Monday, December 19 from7:30 – 8:15 a.m. in the Nativity Chapel. All are welcome.

Advent Booklet. If you have not already done so, please be sure to pick up a copy of the advent devotional booklet available on the table in the side chapel today. The booklet is a resource of scripture, prayer and meditations written by UCW members to help guide your preparation and reflection during this season. The reflections from fellow members are particularly moving. You will not want to miss them.

Blue Christmas Service. The Christmas season is certainly full of joy and anticipation but it can also be full of stress from the busyness and rush of it all. This year we will gather for a new service on Wednesday, December 21 at7:00 p.m. where we will take time to rest in the peace and calm of the sanctuary. With song, prayer, candle lighting and reflections, we will have a chance to set down whatever burdens we carry (whether that be strain from financial difficulties, sadness at the loss of loved ones, struggles with illness, or just the fatigue of the season) and take up the love and peace of God giving us the strength we need to move through these days.

Epiphany Service. Did you know that the early church did not celebrate Christmas? Instead, early Christians celebrated the season of epiphany when they remembered and rejoiced at the manifestation of God on earth in the person of Jesus. This year, we too will celebrate epiphany on Friday, January 6th. We will begin with a potluck meal in the vestry. We will then process the light of God throughout the church ending up in the sanctuary for the culmination of the service. This intergenerational service will appeal to all ages.

Book Group. Many of you may have participated in a book group in the past or maybe do so now. But have you had the experience of reflecting on literature through the lens of faith with your fellow church friends? Please consider joining us for these particularly rich conversations. The book group will not meet in December but please mark Tuesday, January 31 at 7:30 p.m. in the reception room. We are reading Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand.

Photo/Video permission. In order to share the good news of the ministries of The Union Church in Waban, we sometimes take photos and videos at worship and other events in the life of the church. We, however, do not want to use these photos/videos without your permission to do so. As such, the Council approved at its December meeting an updated photo/video permission policy. The entire policy is available at our web site, and on the office door, but the essence is that for adults we ask that you let us know if you DO NOT give us permission to use photo/video images of you, but for children, parents must explicitly GIVE US permission to do so. Please take a moment to review the policy and communicate with the office as needed.