Advent — The Original Joy Sparker

Worship

Over the past five years, Marie Kondo, the world-wide guru of “tidying up,” has introduced into our common vocabulary her signature phrase, “Does it spark joy?” As Christians, we know that real joy is not found so much in the stuff we decide to keep or give away as it is in God, The Original Joy Sparker. Join us this Advent & Christmas season as we journey with John the Baptist, Mary, Isaiah, and others. We’ll have opportunities through serving, reflecting, listening, singing and simply being together to both experience joy ourselves and to spark joy for others. Join us!

December 1 — Sparking Joy

December 8 — John the Baptist: The Joy of Purging

December 15 — Isaiah: A Vision of Joy

December 22 — Mary: The Joy of Singing

December 24 Christmas Eve — Joy to the World

December 29 — Afterglow: The Joy of Lingering


Events

Sisterhood Christmas Tea: Women from around the church will gather on Sunday, December 1 from 1:30-3:30pm for the annual Christmas Tea. Just a few tickets left! Get yours in Fellowship Hall on Sunday.

Moms Connect Christmas Party: All moms are invited to join in the Moms Connect Christmas Party on Thursday, December 5, 6:30pm. Bring a White Elephant Gift and potluck dish to share. Childcare is available. Contact Erica for info.

An Evening of Lessons and Carols: Our Choir is joining forces with several other churches from around the area for an evening of Lessons and Carols. The concert, titled “O Holy Night,” will take place on December 6 & 7 at 7pmat Woods Memorial Presbyterian Church. Tickets are FREE but must be acquired beforehand. Visit woodstix.org and get yours today!

Charlie Brown, Cookies, & Crafts: Families will get together on Sunday, December 8, 4-6pm. Join us as we watch Charlie Brown Christmas beginning at 5pm. Decorate sugar cookies. Make ornaments and crafts. Bring hors d’oeuvres to share.

UMYF Christmas Party: Our United Methodist Youth Fellowship will have their annual Christmas party with games, contests, cookie decorating, and good food on December 15 at 7pm.

Longest Night Service: Join with others from SPUMC on Saturday, December 21, 4:30pm at Whitmore Park for a 40-minute somber interfaith service to remember the lives of our homeless sisters and brothers who have died in our county in the previous year.

Brass Choir Concert: Come enjoy the sounds of the season at a concert at SPUMC featuring the Brass Band of Northern Virginia on December 21 at 5pm. The ensemble includes several teaching and performing music faculty of area colleges and universities. Tickets are $8 online & $10 at the door.


Advent Devotional

Advent devotional books, titled LOW: An Honest Advent Devotional by John Pavlovitz, are available for your personal Advent preparation at no cost to you (donations are accepted). We hope you will use this guide to open yourself and your family to the joy of the Advent season.


Serve

Advent Giving Tree: Spark joy this Christmas season by fulfilling a need from the Advent Giving Tree. Take a tag from the tree and make Christmas brighter by choosing presents for a child in our community, contributing books through our Backpack Buddies ministry, providing gift cards to give warm food to our Heaven’s Kitchen guests, and much more. This is a great opportunity for families to participate in missions together! Contact Becky Clapp with any questions.

Heaven’s Kitchen: On Saturday, December 28, volunteers and guests will gather for a special meal at Heaven’s Kitchen (our meal ministry in Brooklyn, MD). We need as much help as possible to make this meal hospitable, grace-filled, and tasty. If you would like to volunteer contact Chip.

Intentional Acts of Kindness: We’re hoping to give away $20,000 as part of our 3rd Intentional Acts of Kindness Advent project. During communion on December 1, you will have a chance to take a $100 bill from the altar and turn it into an intentional act of kindness. The only “rules” are: (1) You commit to being intentional about passing on this blessing and (2) You share the story with us of what you did. To date we have $14,000 committed and are looking for angel donors for the remaining $6,000.

Reverse Advent Calendar: Grab a SPAN tote bag and put 1 food item in it each day of Advent. Return the bag to Fellowship Hall on Christmas Eve or the next Sunday. The bags will supply our local food pantry for months to come. Our church contributed 250+ bags of food last Christmas, and we’re hoping to beat that record! Contact Francie with questions.


Christmas Eve

3pm Family Service | Toddlers & Preschool Children

  • Carols, stories, and informal pageant
  • Carols & glow stick candlelighting
  • Relaxed for our youngest worshippers

5pm: Family Service | Elementary School Children

  • Christmas pageant featuring our 2nd graders
  • Carols & glow stick candlelighting
  • Brief Christmas message

**Birthday Cake for Jesus and Sunday School Art Show in Fellowship Hall immediately following both Family services.

7pm: Contemporary Christmas Service

  • Music led by our Worship Bands
  • Carols & Candlelighting
  • Christmas Message by Rev. Ron

9pm: Traditional Christmas Service

  • Music by Brass Quintet, Bells, & Christmas Choir
  • Carols & Candlelighting
  • Christmas Message by Rev. Ron

11pm: Traditional Christmas Service

  • Music by Brass Quintet, Bells, & Christmas Choir
  • Holy Communion & Candlelighting
  • Christmas Message by Rev. Byron