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December 2019

From the Pastor

The liturgical season of Advent has an interesting history.  It originated as a period of fasting for new believers who were to be baptized at Epiphany, and evolved into a time of preparation for the return of the Lord Jesus at the end of the world.  In fact, the Latin word adventus is a translation of the Greek word parousia, commonly used to refer to the second coming of Christ.

In the evangelical tradition, the second coming is often presented as a time to be feared.  But, in the Reformed tradition, it is seen as a time of hope and joy, anticipating the fulfillment of the rule of God in Christ.  Advent begins in darkness and ends in light.  It begins with the somber words of John the Baptist and ends with the holy family gathered around the manger of the baby Jesus.

Here are just a few of the joys that await us in Advent this year:

On 1st Advent, 12/1, we will renew the tradition of lighting candles on the Advent wreath at the beginning of each Lord’s Day worship service.  The candles symbolize increasing light as the birth of the Savior approaches.

On 2nd Advent, 12/8, we will be treated to a concert by the Burgaw Presbyterian Children’s Violin Orchestra during the 11 a.m. service…then re-gather in the pavilion at 2 p.m. for the Advent Festival to enjoy food, fun and activities for persons of all ages.  This will also be an excellent time for us to meet some of the young parents and children that God has called into our extended church family.  Then, at 4 p.m., it is back to the sanctuary for a performance of Handel’s “Messiah” by a community choir under the leadership of Music Director David Hoover.

Later that week, some of our choir members will sing and I will read scripture at the NC Blueberry Festival Community Christmas event on Friday, 12/13, at 6:30 p.m. at the Middle District Baptist facility on Highway 53W.  It will be a special time of singing, prayer and fellowship with our fellow Christians.

In worship on 3rd Advent, 12/15, we will ordain and install three new ruling elders for the Class of 2022.  And at 5:30 p.m., the Live Outdoor Nativity Service will take place on the east lawn, featuring angels, shepherds, kings, and live animals.

4th Advent, 12/22, will include a hand bell concert by the Burgaw Presbyterian Spirit Ringers.  And two days later—at 6:00 p.m. on 12/24—we will go out into the night singing “Joy to the World” as we celebrate the birth of Christ at our Christmas Eve Candlelight Communion Service.

Advent is a wonderful time to be a disciple of the Lord Jesus at Burgaw Presbyterian!

Yours in Christ,

Pastor Will


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