CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICE STARTS AT 11

 

This year’s Christmas Eve service will begin at 11:00 p.m. Everyone is invited to attend—you can even extend the invitation to your neighbors. Children are welcome to come in their PJs. The service will include special Christmas anthems from the choir, familiar Christmas carols, and candlelight. Pastor Jeff will be preaching.

 

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CELEBRATE CAROLS ON CHRISTMAS DAY

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This year, Christmas Day falls on a Sunday, and—yes—we are meeting for worship, at 10:00 a.m. as usual. We will have a simple service with communion, and hear the nativity story as told in Luke’s Gospel. We will also celebrate our beloved Christmas carols, hearing the stories of their creation, and singing some old favorites.

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LONGEST NIGHT SERVICE ON DECEMBER 21 OFFERS HEALING

“This may be one of the most important gifts we give the wider community,” Pastor Jeff said, speaking of the Longest Night Service.

longest-nightFor many, Christmas time is a bittersweet time of year. For people who are dealing with grief, significant life changes, sobriety, and other challenges, this time of year can be especially difficult. This is also the time of year with the longest nights, so on the longest night of the year Niles Discovery Church offers a special, meditative worship service that makes time for remembering and sharing our hurting places with God. The structure of the service helps people open their hearts to hope.

The December 21 service is held in the sanctuary at Niles Discovery Church, 36600 Niles Blvd., Fremont, at 7:30 p.m. The liturgy, honed over the years by Pastor Jeff, includes special music, scripture, silent reflection, candle lighting, and healing prayer. The service will be followed by a simple time of fellowship for those who wish to participate.

The highlight of the service seems to be the lighting of candles. It is a quiet response to the scripture readings and an act of prayer. Pastor Jeff hopes that the service will provide a space for people “to release their anger, face their emptiness, have a good cry (if that’s what they need), and know that God cares.”

You may benefit from this service. You may have friends and neighbor who would benefit from this service. Consider extending a personal invitation to this service and come with them as a supportive friend.

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CANTATA WILL BRING LOVE ON DECEMBER 18

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Our chancel choir will present a brand new Christmas Cantata, “Love Came Down at Christmas,” on Sunday, December 18, during the 10:00 a.m. worship service.

“Love Came Down at Christmas,” composed by Joel Raney, was inspired by a poem of the same name by Christina Rossetti, first published in 1885. Seeing Love as the central theme of Christmas, the composer chose to scatter lines of Rossetti’s classic poem throughout his cantata, which is a rich tapestry of original and familiar melodies, arranged in diverse musical styles. The cantata has four main sections that correspond to the four prominent themes of Advent (Hope, Peace, Joy and Love). These four sections are tied together by opening and closing sections that frame the piece as well as underscored narration that ensures a rich and meaningful Christmas worship experience.

“The preparation for this cantata is really exciting for the choir and me and we look forward to presenting it to the congregation!” choir director Ofer dal Lal said.

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Interfaith Thanksgiving Services will be on November 21 — 7:30 p.m.

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Joy Surges At Intergenerational Worship Service

Our first Intergenerational Worship Service filled the sanctuary with great joy as we sang songs from childhood and rediscovered play can be an extraordinary way to worship God. worshipwordle

The story of the Good Samaritan is our focus for the second Intergenerational Worship Service on October 2. While many parts of our worship service will remain as usual, there will be changes. The 2 major changes are there will be a Retelling of the Scripture to fit today’s world and the sermon will be replaced by Worship Stations. Everyone present will be invited to explore the meaning of our “Go And Do Likewise” Good Samaritan and Stewardship Campaign theme through a Worship Station.

 Everyone present can choose to devote 15 minutes to playing an Improv game, creating visual art, composing lyrics, talking about our progressive understandings of the Good Samaritan story, or working on a Help-Our-Neighbor project at a Worship Station.

Parents, please note that Sunday School will only be available to preschoolers, because the whole service will be child friendly. Parents, please make certain your children are in the care of a responsible adult when they are at a Worship Station.

Since this is also World Communion Sunday, it’s a great time to invite your creative friends, neighbors, children and anyone in need of a little more joy and yummy breads!

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Our Racists Anonymous Group Welcomes Drop-Ins

Our Racists Anonymous 12-Step group is now open to whoever wants to drop in for one or more meetings to discover and recover from the implicit racial bias that hides within and surfaces around us. We are meeting every Sunday, September through November, from 4 pm to 5 pm in Room 3. We hold all said in confidence and do not try to fix one another. We seek self recovery with the support of others and God. Step 2 says, “I believe that only a power greater than me can restore me in my humaness to the non-racist creature as God designed me to be.” Let it be so.

Contact Cindy Sojourner at cindy@sojournings.org for more information.

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