This is the lineup of holiday and holy day services and events so far:
- Sun. Nov. 24 Thanksgiving Sunday, celebrating Thanksgiving in 10:00 AM worship in our sanctuary with traditional hymns and scriptures.
- Thurs. Nov. 28 Strafford Interfaith Thanksgiving Service 10:00 AM at Our Lady of Light Roman Catholic church in South Strafford, a wonderful community tradition.
- Sun. Dec. 1 First Sunday of Advent Advent begins with the beautiful rituals of children bringing in the greens and lighting the Advent candle of Hope and the congregation singing “O Come, O Come Emmanuel.”
- Fri. Dec. 6 “Noël” Concert 7:00 PM with Julie Ness, Timothy Cummings, Jeremiah McLane and Annemieke McLane—four extraordinary musicians sharing their joy!
- Sat. Dec. 7 Thetford Chamber Singers Concert 7:30 PM, with a theme of “Hope,” and the Chamber Singers traditional candle ritual in our sanctuary.
- Sun. Dec. 8 Second Sunday of Advent, lighting the candle of Peace.
- *Sun. Dec. 15 Third Sunday of Advent and Pageant Sunday During the 10:00 AM service a new Annemieke McLane original pageant script with beautiful carols and anthems, followed by a brief service and the lighting of the Advent candle of Joy.
- Sat. Dec. 21 The Longest Night: Facing the Darkness Together* Saturday December 21 5:00-6:00 PM, a quiet, reflective, comforting candle-lit time sharing our journey through the darkness together. (See the article below for a longer description.)
- Sun. Dec. 22 Fourth Sunday of Advent, Mary Sunday, lighting the candle of Love.
- Tues. Dec. 24 Christmas Eve Services at 5:30 PM and Now Also at 10:30 PM We offer a 5:30 Christmas Eve service for the sake of families with young children, and for people who have gatherings or other traditional activities later on Christmas Eve. We are offering a 10:30 PM service as well this year for people who cannot make the 5:30 time or who prefer the quieter, more intimate feeling of a traditional midnight service. The 5:30 service has a time with the children and a full choir in addition to the same lessons, carols and candles that we will have at the 10:30 PM service.
- Sun. Dec. 29 Our annual informal, potluck Christmas Carol Sing and Story Telling and Christmas Treat Feast at our 10:00 AM service, a highlight of the season for many people. We sing carols by request, we hear stories, poems or songs that we bring to share and we get to sample one another’s favorite Christmas desserts or other treats.
- Sun. Jan. 5 Epiphany Sunday Celebrating the Magi arriving in Bethlehem to pay homage to the Christ-child as we begin a season of seeing the light of God present in the world.
- Sun. Jan 14 Baptism of Christ Sunday The story of John the Baptist baptizing Jesus in the River Jordan and the Spirit coming into Jesus to guide and empower him, starting with his forty day retreat in the wilderness.
- Sun. Jan. 19 Martin Luther King Jr. Sunday focusing this year on nonviolence and the nonviolent movement to transform human society into the realm of God on earth. King and Christ both call us to continue this “Revolution of Values” in our time.
*The Longest Night: Facing the Darkness Together, Saturday, December 21 5:00-6:00 PM in the Parish Hall. This season comes with a constant cultural refrain of gathering with family and friends, of celebrating and giving, of spending money and experiencing happiness—and yet many people find it a source of more pain than gladness. Even in the holiday season, or maybe especially in the holiday season, we may need space to name lack, loss, estrangement, insecurity, anxiety, depression, or express our fear or grief over what is happening in our world. The Solstice, when the longest night stretches before us, may be a time when we need community and solace. We will hear writings that offer comfort for what we are experiencing, and we will have the opportunity to reflect together on three topics: experiences of pain this time of year (a story about you, someone you know or characters in literature or film); particular causes of pain or struggle in your personal life this season; and pain you are feeling related to things happening in the nation or world. All people are welcome of any spiritual path.
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