Advent — A Thrill of Hope

Download our full 2018 Advent Brochure


It’s hard to imagine Christmas without the carols, a rich part of our tradition and a deep point of connection for so many people. This year during the Sundays of Advent, some of the most familiar carols of Christmas will guide us through this holy season and bring us to Christmas Eve, where we will light candles, sing Silent Night (which “turns” 200 this year) and try to soak in the mystery of the manger. We hope you will be a part of all that we have to offer at SPUMC during this season—serving, sharing and most of all, singing together!

December 2Anticipate: A Thrill of Hope

December 9Center: Peace on Earth & Mercy Mild

December 16Rejoice: Echoing Their Joyous Strains

December 23Adore: Now in Flesh Appearing

December 24 Christmas Eve Celebrate: All Is Calm, All Is Bright

December 30Go: Over the Hills & Everywhere

January 6Shine: Guide Us to Thy Perfect Light


Sisterhood Christmas Tea: Women from around the church will gather on Sunday, November 25 from 1:30-3:30pm for the annual Christmas Tea. Get your tickets in Fellowship Hall.

The Star, Cookies, & Crafts: Families will get together on Sunday, December 2 from 4:30-6:30pm. Join us as we watch The Star beginning at 5pm. Enjoy decorating sugar cookies. Make ornaments and crafts. Bring hors d’oeuvres or cookies to share. For serious movie-watchers the movie will be playing in the Sanctuary, with a more casual atmosphere in Fellowship Hall.

Blue Christmas Worship: The Christmas Season can be a hard time for people dealing with grief or loss. You are invited to a service of healing and hope, on Sunday, December 16 at 5pm in the Sanctuary. Through music and prayer, we will reflectively celebrate Emmanuel, God with us.

UMYF Christmas Party: Youth Fellowship will have their annual Christmas party with games, contests, cookie decorating, and good food on December 16 at 7pm.

YAG Christmas Fellowship: Our Young Adult Group is getting together for a Christmas Cookie Extravaganza on Thursday, December 13, 6:30-8pm. Join us for a night of fellowship, frosting, and your favorite Christmas movies! Childcare will be provided. Contact Rev. Carissa for more info.

Moms Connect Christmas Party: All moms are invited to join in the Moms Connect Christmas Party on Thursday, December 20, 6:30pm. We will celebrate through missions and fellowship, as we pack gifts for Heaven’s Kitchen kids, and enjoy a White Elephant Gift Exchange ($10 limit). Contact Erica for more info.


“Hidden Christmas”: To help you find the real spirit of Christmas, this study by Timothy Keller will take readers to the heart of the nativity, looking at messages of hope, redemption, and salvation.
Sunday 9:30am — Dick Legare & Nancy Landers
Sunday 11am — Reid Reininger

“The Living Nativity”: A hands-on class based on the book by Larry Peacock, where we’ll explore how Advent and Christmas traditions like wreaths, trees, and more help us draw closer to our faith.
Tuesday 7pm — Rev. Carissa Surber

“Home for Christmas”: These tales of hope and second chances share the real-life stories of formerly incarcerated men and women as they find work and opportunity through Homeboy Industries. As we hear about their struggles, we recognize the Advent themes of hope, love, and peace and even joy in their lives.
Wednesday 7pm — Rev. Ron Foster

“The Advent Mission”: A daily devotional that will double as discussion material, focusing on Jesus’ arrival in the manger as well as his second coming in victory.
Friday 10am — Rev. Lee Ferrell & Chip Linehan

11am Sunday School for Kids: The songs of Christmas provide more than holiday cheer—they have stories of their own to tell! Beginning on November 25, Sunday School during our 11am worship will share with PreK-5th Graders the songs, the stories, and God’s plan to send a Rescuer to the world that very first Christmas.
Sunday 11am


Advent Giving Tree: Live generously this Christmas season by fulfilling a need from the Advent Giving Tree. The tree will be up in the Fellowship Hall beginning Monday, November 19. 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 Rev. Carissa with any questions.

Heaven’s Kitchen: On Saturday, December 22, 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: Thanks to the generosity of several people, 110 families or individuals (more, if we receive additional donations by December 1) will get to turn a $100 bill into an intentional act of kindness. The only “rules” are (1) you commit to being intentional about passing on this blessing and (2) that you share the story with us of what you did. Use your compassion and imagination to bring ‘a thrill of hope’ to someone’s life this Christmas! The joy starts on Sunday, December 2 during morning worship. Contact Rev. Ron for more info.

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 252 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 by Erica Benjamin

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

7pm: Contemporary Christmas Service

  • Christmas Carols led by our Worship Bands
  • 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. Carissa