Celebrating the Advent & Christmas Seasons

The season of Advent, which comes from the Latin word adventus meaning "coming" or "visit," begins on November 27th, four Sundays before Christmas, and ends on Christmas Eve. Advent is the beginning of the church year for Christians.

During Advent, we prepare for and anticipate the coming of Christ. We remember the longing of Jews for a Messiah and our own longing for and need of forgiveness, salvation and a new beginning. Even as we look back and celebrate the birth of Jesus in a humble stable in Bethlehem, we also look forward anticipating the second coming of Christ as the fulfillment of all that was promised by his first coming.

Although we are accustomed to celebrating Christmas on a single day, in both Christian tradition and on the church calendar, the Christmas season lasts from sundown on December 24th (Christmas Eve) through Epiphany of the Lord (January 6th). This is sometimes referred to as "the 12 days of Christmas.".

Make plans to join with us as we celebrate the seasons of Advent and Christmas at Duluth First United Methodist Church!

Celebrating the Season of Advent

at Duluth First UMC

The season of Advent, which comes from the Latin word adventus meaning “coming” or “visit,” begins four Sundays before Christmas and ends on Christmas Eve. Advent is the beginning of the church year for Christians.

During Advent, we prepare for and anticipate the coming of Christ. We remember the longing of Jews for a Messiah and our own longing for and need of forgiveness, salvation and a new beginning. Even as we look back and celebrate the birth of Jesus in a humble stable in Bethlehem, we also look forward anticipating the second coming of Christ as the fulfillment of all that was promised by his first coming.

Advent begins with the fourth Sunday before Christmas Day. This year Advent began on Sunday, November 27th, and ends at sundown on Saturday, December 24th.

Although we are accustomed to celebrating Christmas on a single day, in both Christian tradition and on the church calendar, the Christmas season lasts from sundown on Christmas Eve (December 24th) through Epiphany of the Lord (January 6th). This is sometimes referred to as “the 12 days of Christmas.”

The color for Advent has traditionally been purple, although some churches have adopted blue. In practice, however, as churches increasingly incorporate the symbols and decorations of Christmas during Advent, more and more red, green and gold are appearing. The United Methodist Book of Worship upholds the traditional color of purple for Advent, signifying penitence and royalty, but also allows blue, the color of hope.

This Advent, we invite you to join with us at Duluth First UMC as we prepare for and anticipate the coming of Christ. We are offering many opportunities for all ages to participate in this season. Explore the Advent opportunities detailed below, helping to make the Advent and Christmas seasons more meaningful for you, your family and friends.

Adapted from “What is Advent?” and “Understanding Advent” by Dean McIntyre, retired Director of Music Resources, Discipleship Ministries.

Originally published in Interpreter Magazine, November–December, 2017.

Advent Devotional Booklet is Available

This year Advent begins on Sunday, November 27th, and Duluth First UMC will have Advent devotional booklets available for each family to accompany you on your journey to the manger.  There is one reading per day, most of which are original writings from fellow church members. The cover art was contributed by David Cook and the art adorning the inside pages was created by students and teachers at the church’s Christian Beginnings Preschool & Kindergarten program.


You will find the booklets in the Narthex (the main entrance to the Sanctuary), the Gathering Room, and outside of Hinton Hall. Just look for the blue baskets. The Advent devotional booklet is also available online for download – just click on ADVENT DEVOTIONAL BOOKLET.

Youth Advent Booklet

We invite you and your family to journey with us in this Advent season! Please download the YOUTH ADVENT BOOKLET and look through it to find out all the exciting things that are happening in the life of our Student Ministry during Advent. May this season be filled with hope, peace, joy, and love for you and your family! 

You can also visit the Youth Advent page on the youth website by going to https://dfumcstudents.org/advent.

Children’s Ministry Movie & Pizza Night:

December 2nd

The Children’s Ministry invites all kids ages Pre-K through 5th grade for a Movie & Pizza Night on Friday, December 2nd, from 5 to 7 p.m. Join us for fun, friends, and pizza as we watch The Star, a movie about a small but brave donkey named Bo who yearns for a life beyond his daily grind at the village mill. One day he finds the courage to break free, and finally goes on the adventure of his dreams. On his journey, he teams up with Ruth, a lovable sheep who has lost her flock and Dave, a dove with lofty aspirations. Along with three wisecracking camels and some eccentric stable animals, Bo and his new friends follow the Star and become accidental heroes in the greatest story ever told - the first Christmas.


Bring a friend, wear your pajamas, and bring a blanket to be cozy! Children can be dropped off at the Youth Center (“The Fish Tank”), located on the 1st floor of the Sheldon Family Life Center. The cost is $5 per child. We are collecting donations of boxes of cereal for the Hands of Christ Duluth Co-op, a local missions ministry supported by Duluth First UMC, and would love you to help by bringing a box with you.


For more information, please contact Leslie Yokeley, Director of Children’s Ministries, by e-mail at lyokeley@duluthumc.org, or by calling 770-476-3776, ext. 138.

United Women in Faith’s “Christmas Around the World”:  December 10th

Mark your calendars and join the United Women in Faith (formerly the United Methodist Women) for Christmas Around the World on Saturday, December 10th, from 10 a.m. to noon in the Dorothy L. Rainey Fellowship Hall.  This event is for women and children (ages 6 and older). Childcare will be provided for younger children.

We will learn about the Christmas traditions of different countries, and will have homemade cookies representing those countries. A love offering for Hugs for Soldiers Ministry will be available.

Please sign up at the Christmas Around the World table in the Gathering Room, or at the entrance of Hinton Hall. We look forward to seeing you!

Order Your Christmas Poinsettias:

Now Through December 11th

The Worship Committee invites you to remember or honor a loved one with a poinsettia this Christmas season. The poinsettias will be used to adorn the Sanctuary and Hinton Hall on Sunday, December 19th, and on Christmas Eve. The cost per plant is $20. You may pick up your poinsettia/poinsettias following the worship services on Christmas Eve. Printed copies of the poinsettia Remembrance/Honor listings will be available at the worship services on Sunday, December 18th, and at the three worship services on Christmas Eve.

 

All proceeds go to Seeds of Hope, whose funds are used to help meet the needs of God’s people living in Duluth and Suwanee--often strangers, widows, orphans, homeless, those who are lost, and those who are without hope--who come to Duluth First United Methodist Church seeking assistance.

 

You can place your order for poinsettias online with a credit/debit card payment. Anyone wishing to pay by credit/debit card must complete their order form online. To order online, please click on POINSETTIA ONLINE ORDER FORM.

 

If you wish to pay by check or cash, order forms will be available:

  • At the Welcome/Information Centers;
  • Online by clicking on POINSETTIA ORDER FORM
  • In the Sunday Traditional Worship service bulletins on November 20th and 27th, and December 4th and 11th;
  • At the Information Table in the back of Hinton Hall at the Contemporary Worship service.

Please place your form/forms, along with a check made payable to Duluth First United Methodist Church and marked Poinsettias in the memo section, in the Church Staff Drop Box located in the Atrium, or send to Duluth First United Methodist Church, Attn. Ken Willi, 3208 Duluth Hwy. 120, Duluth, GA 30096. NOTE: All orders must be received by Sunday, December 11th, at 5:00 p.m.

Holiday Concert and Sing-Along:

December 14th

Looking for a little holiday cheer? Join the Children’s Choir and Genesis Youth Choir for a Christmas concert and holiday sing-along on Wednesday, December 14th, at 6:15 p.m. in the Sanctuary. Sleigh bells are welcome! Make plans to join us for Wednesday Night Dinner in Hinton Hall before the concert and sing-along.

Chancel Choir’s Annual Service of Christmas Music: December 18th

On Sunday, December 18th, during the 11:00 a.m. Traditional Worship service in the Sanctuary, the Chancel Choir will present their annual service of Christmas music, featuring favorites such as The First Noel, Angels We Have Heard on High, and Joy to the World. And we are excited to welcome back Gate City Brass to accompany our festival of Christmas carols and to share some of their own arrangements.

Christmas Eve Services: December 24th

Noon - Contemporary Worship Service with Communion

  • The Contemporary Worship Service with Communion will be held in Hinton Hall.
  • Music, featuring Christmas carols, will be led by the Contemporary Worship Praise Team.
  • The service will be live streamed on the Duluth First UMC Contemporary Worship page on Facebook.

4:00 and 6:00 p.m. - Candlelight Services

  • The Christmas Eve Candlelight Services will be held in the Sanctuary.
  • Music, featuring Christmas carols, will be led by the Chancel Choir.
  • The services will be live streamed on the Duluth First UMC Worship page on YouTube.

NOTE: Childcare will be available for all of the services.