|Dearest Faith Community Near and Far-
Praying everyone has had a wonderful week and is looking forward to the weekend. The pantry is serving the community as I write this, we just had a blessing of food delivered from Tyson, and the last few presents are being picked up by families. Our community has made sure 250 children had something special under the tree and that 500 families received food for their Christmas dinner meal. YOU all are amazing! Thank you for making Christmas special for so many this year.
Tonight at 6pm, you are invited to join us for the Blue Christmas Service. It’s a service that recognizes that although there is joy during this season, it is also a hard time of the year for many.
Our theme for this Advent and into the new year is “How Does a Weary World Rejoice?” This theme has touched my heart and I hope it is touching yours as well. The creators of this theme and series share these words: “Joy is often a companion to many other emotions. We can feel joy in addition to feeling many other things at once: grief, anticipation, anxiety, excitement, disappointment, exhaustion. Perhaps many of us live with the myth that joy is not something we deserve—or that it is wholly out of reach. But our joy is rooted in the truth that we belong to God. Can you tether yourself to that deep truth? You deserve to feel joy—fully. The world needs your joy, even if you are weary. Our joy is better when it is shared… And so, this Advent, we will hold space for our weariness and our joy. We will seek a “thrill of hope” in our hurting world. We will welcome joy—even and especially if, like the prophet Isaiah, we cry out for comfort (Isaiah 40:1). In this weary world, may we find many ways to rejoice.” We hope you will join us for this journey.
Every morning at 9am, there will be a devotional on Facebook for you to join. Please feel free to leave thoughts on comments on those posts. In addition, we will be handing out the devotionals in worship this week. If you would like an electronic version, please click HERE, and I’ll send you the link.
Dates to Remember
New Sunday morning schedule: 8:30- Sacred Space, 9:30- Fellowship, 10:00- Worship
Blue Christmas Service- Thursday, December 21 at 6pm (the labyrinth will be used in our service tonight)
Christmas Eve Service- Sunday, December 24 at 4pm in the sanctuary
Ice Skating- Meet at the church at 1pm on Friday, December 29 and we will head up to Ellenton Ice Skating Rink.
We’re making some headway on some more projects around the church.
Shower permit is still in the final stages. But the final request has been received. Hopefully the project will begin very soon. Let’s pray we can get through the final stages of permitting ASAP!
Guess what? The cross is up. Come and see it this weekend!
The office will be closed from December 25, 2023-January 2, 2024. We will reopen on Wednesday, January 3.
Also know that the food pantry will be closed on Thursday, December 28 and January 4. We will be giving all the volunteers an extended time to rest. Friends, our pantry volunteers haven’t stopped since the hurricane. We will be giving families as much food as possible on December 21 and giving them Christmas Dinner Bags for their families. If you are able to help on the 21st, it will be a very busy day and having a few more hands will be helpful.
Hoping everyone had a great week and a blessed weekend. Be safe and stay dry! Happy December! And see you soon.
ps…Fridays and Saturdays are the two days I am taking off every week. This isn’t always working great, but I am really trying hard to take these days off each week. If I do not get back to you, please know I will on Mondays.
NEW Sunday Morning Schedule
Worship with Wintergarden
Sunday, December 24, 2023
Sacred Space Meditation Service @ 8:30 am
In the sensory garden by the fountain
and on Facebook Live
Fellowship (light continental breakfast) @ 9:30 am
Worship following about 10:00 am
In the Sanctuary and on Facebook Live
Christmas Eve Service @ 4:00 pm
Indoors and on Facebook Live
How to access the bulletin:
How to Access Services Online:
Join us on Facebook for Worship Services
Remember, you don’t need a Facebook Account
to join us for worship.
You can also click HEREfor the Facebook link.
|SUNDAY ADVENT WORSHIP SERVICE
|Sunday, December 24, 2023
Fellowship @ 9:30 am
Relaxed Traditional Worship @ 10:00 amHow Does a Weary World Rejoice?
We Sing Songs Of Hope
Luke 1:46-55; Luke 1:67-80
|Every Monday Lectio Divina
Food Truck Delivery Wednesday
Every Thursday Food Pantry 12-4pm (Pantry CLOSED 12/28 and 1/4)
Dec. 21: Longest Night of the Year Service 5:30pmDec. 24: Christmas Eve Service (Indoors) at 4pm
Dec. 29: Family Fun Afternoon (ice skating, meet at church at 1pm, followed by dinner and movie)
|UPDATES AND MARK YOUR CALENDARS
|In order for us to do Sacred Space, we need some folks to show up by 8:15 to help with set-up. If we don’t have help with set-up, we will not be able to continue Sacred Space. Thanks for your help and understanding.
We will have Sacred Space on December 24, 2023.
We will NOT have Sacred Space on December 31, 2023.
|ONGOING SERVICE OPPORTUNITIES AND EVENTS
|FOOD PANTRY VOLUNTEERS NEEDEDPlease contact the church office at 941-743-5335 or email at email@example.com
With the pantry cover completed and the weather cooling down a little, we invite you to come volunteer with us on Thursdays. Bring a friend to help!
Also, we are in need of translators. If you know anyone who speaks Spanish, Ukrainian, or Russian, we are in need of assistance.
|Interested in joining our Garden?
Garden of Eatin’ – Food Forest
For more information click HERE.
|At Wintergarden Presbyterian Church
we’re eager to pray with you!
Please let us know how we can pray by submitting a Prayer Request online (link below). Prayer requests are emailed to Pastor Devon once submitted.
|Lectio Divina will not meet December 25, 2023 and January 1, 2024.All are welcome to join us as we continue to engage in the spiritual practice of Lectio Divina together as a community. Maybe you can add Lectio to your new year’s resolution list 😉
We will gather via Zoom for an intentional time of listening, reflecting, responding, and resting in the Word of God. We will meet on Mondays from 8-9am.
Here are some details about Lectio Divina.
Lectio Divina, literally meaning “divine reading,” is an ancient practice of praying the Scriptures. During Lectio Divina, the person listens to the text of the Bible with the “ear of the heart,” as if he or she is in conversation with God, and God is suggesting the topics for discussion.
There are four movements for Lectio Divina:
1. Lectio: (Listening to the Word of God or Reading God’s Word)
2. Meditation: (Reflecting on the Word of God)
3. Oratio: (Responding to the Word of God)
4. Contemplatio: (Resting in the Word of God)
Here is the Zoom Link:
Join Zoom Meeting: Click HERE
Meeting ID: 878 3208 0869
+16465588656,,87832080869#,,,,*396015# US (New York)
|Facebook for Wintergarden Presbyterian ChurchFacebook for the Garden of Eatin’ at Wintergarden Presbyterian Church