First Presbyterian Church of Hokendauqua

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November 2012

An Advent Adventure!

Advent begins on Sunday, December 2 this year. Although we observe the same Advent customs each year in our church, the season is anything but dull. In fact, it’s my personal favorite! During the Advent season, we prepare the way of the Lord with the lighting of the pink and purple Advent candles, the Chrismon decorations our Deacons put on the tree, the Sunday School’s mitten patch in the church foyer, and the nativity play. So that our hearts may make room for Jesus, we renovate our souls for His coming. Finally, a new dawn breaks, shattering the darkness around us. And on Christmas Eve, we finally greet Emmanuel, “God is With Us.”

I want to offer a word of explanation to help you understand Advent. The word, “Advent,” means “arrival that has been awaited.” For Christians, Advent is the four Sundays that come before Christmas. Advent officially begins the church year. It is a season of expectancy that is meant to get us ready for a transformational celebration of the birth of Jesus. We prepare to celebrate Advent by remembering the longing of the Jews for a Messiah. During Advent, we’re reminded of how much we ourselves need a Savior, and we look forward to our Savior’s second coming even as we prepare to celebrate his first coming at Christmas.

Kathryn (Katie) Dyer, a member of our church who lives at 3920 Pleasant Avenue, Allentown, will host a two-day Advent house tour to display 100 nativity sets which she has collected on vacations and concert tours in North America and Europe. You may visit her home between 2:00 and 8:00 p.m. on December 1 and 2. No reservations are necessary. The proceeds from the house tour ($15.00 suggested donation) will benefit our church. Coffee, tea and baked goods will be available to all visitors. Highlights of Katie’s collection include a crèche from Quebec that features hunters and trappers instead of shepherds; a nativity scene consisting of dogs with a West Highland Terrier representing Baby Jesus, and Golden Retrievers representing camels; a stained glass crèche from Italy; a nativity set made from olive wood; a Portuguese “chickativity” scene with chickens and a rooster; a rare, pregnant figure of Jesus’ mother, Mary from France; a Provencal terra cotta crèche featuring fully-costumed, five-inch village characters or santons; and, as the centerpiece of her collection, the Hummel nativity scene that our own church choir gave to its beloved director, Rachel Rodgers, each Christmas--one piece per year, for a decade. If you’d like more information, please call me at the church office. We hope you’ll join us!

Pastor Joyce

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