November 26, 2019
Dear Members and Friends,
“And she gave birth to her firstborn son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger…”
“…They saw the young Child with Mary, his mother, and fell down and worshiped Him; and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto Him gifts: gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.” --Matthew 2:11
This coming Sunday, December 1st, is the first Sunday of Advent, which begins our new Church year. We will make preparations—in our hearts, homes and churches—for the coming of the Christ-Child. We’ll recall once again, those beautiful stories which have moved millions to think about hope, peace, joy and love and the blessings we have all received from the God of the Ages.
In the passages from Holy Scripture above, we see evidence of the very first, second, third and fourth Christmas presents. Yes, we can quickly recall the third, fourth and fifth—to be sure—but we sometimes forget that the Baby Jesus was the very first One. With our many preparations for Christmas Day, may we never, ever lose sight of that first and most precious of all Christmas gifts: the Manger Babe. Epiphany then, on our Christian calendar, occurs on the twelfth day of Christmas—the day when history tells us that the Wise Men came to Bethlehem to present their gifts.
The dictionary defines an epiphany as “an appearance or manifestation of a god or other super-natural being.” The next definition in the dictionary is that of an epiphenomenon: “a phenomenon that occurs with, and seems to result from, another.” I would like to see an epiphenomenon happen here at Boiling Springs UMC!
Some of the ways we might be able to realize that epiphenomenon is to attend and take part in the Advent/Christmas celebrations and other events here at our Church. They are all included on our ”News and Do’s for Those-in-the-Pews” sheet, which appears in our worship bulletins each Sunday morning. What follows below are excerpts from that sheet, so that you may take part—whether you are a member, relative or friend of our community of faith. All are invited…
Monday, December 2nd at 11:00 AM
Today is our SUNSHINE CLUB CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION! Each person attending is asked to bring a new "White Elephant" gift (up to $20 value) for our always hilarious gift exchange. Please also bring a plate of "finger food" to share. This is one of the great, fun-filled highlights of our Christmas holiday season, and it won't be the same, if you are not there! Janice Craps is our president, and Orrin T. Bradley is our president-elect.
Friday, December 6th at 6:00 PM
Our UNITED METHODIST MEN’S CHRISTMAS DINNER is this evening and all men of the Church and their wives (or significant others) are invited. Hal Hammond (803-206-1487) is our President.
Sunday, December 8th beginning at 3:00 PM
Our BOILING SPRINGS CHRISTMAS PARADE is this afternoon. We’ll meet in the Church parking lot!
Wednesday, December 11th at 6:30 PM
This evening is our CHILDREN AND YOUTH CHRISTMAS PROGRAM. All members of the congregation are invited to this annual celebration! An original Christmas play will be performed by our young people, and to paraphrase the verse in Isaiah 11:6, “…and little children shall lead us.” Watch this spot for further details. Sandra Padgett (our playwright) is our Director of Discipleship Ministries, Rebecca Lutz is our Coordinator of Children’s Ministries, and Ben and Melissa Treaster lead our Youth Group.
Monday, December 16th at 6:00 PM
Who doesn’t like pancakes, with all the trimmings??? Please join us for a GIRL SCOUT PANCAKE FUNDRAISER in the Family Ministries Building, for $5 per person, or $20 per family. There will be plenty of pancakes with a variety of toppings, bacon & sausage, juice and coffee, and plenty of fun and fellowship. All proceeds will benefit our Girl Scout program here at Boiling Springs UMC. Sharon Wolfe (803-603-5783) is our Girl Scout Troop leader.
Tuesday, December 24th at 5:00 PM
Our traditional “CHRISTMAS EVE CANDLELIGHT SERVICE” is this evening. Our Chancel Choir will present the Christmas Story through song, and we will hear the Christmas Story through Scripture, from the prophesies of Isaiah through the Gospels. We will end the Service with the lighting of candles and the singing of “Silent Night, Holy Night!” All are welcome! NURSERY CARE WILL BE PROVIDED!
Sunday, December 29th beginning at 9:30 AM F I F T H S U N D A Y S O N G S C H E D U L E
Today, being a fifth Sunday of the month, our day will begin at 9:30 AM with Church School for all ages, followed by our combined SONG SERVICE (at 10:30 AM). There will be no 8:30 AM Service this morning. Bring your paper products (facial tissues, toilet tissue, paper towels) for the Nancy K. Perry Children’s Home. We will also bless our Hearts & Hands gifts for the children at the Children's Hospital.
As you can see, Boiling Springs UMC is a busy place! For some folks, Christmastime is a great opportunity to re-connect with your Church and with your faith. For those folks we have not seen for a while—here is that opportunity. For those folks who are steady supporters with their “prayers, presence, gifts, service and witness,” help to warm the hearts of others who are coming to be with us this season.
May God bless each of you richly, as we welcome the Christ-Child together…
And the Journey Continues,