Celebrating Advent and
Christmas Giving /Mitten Tree – Sun., Dec. 1st
The church is providing a way to give to families in need during the holiday season. On Sunday, Dec. 1st, there will be a “giving tree” located in the narthex.
1. Gifts and Cookies for Families in Need. People are invited to take 1-2 of gift tags off the tree. Each gift tag will list a suggested gift and the age and gender of the recipient. You are encouraged to purchase the gift, wrap it, firmly attach the gift tag to the outside of package and place it under the tree by Sunday, Dec.15th. Each gift will be under $25. The recipients will be children/youth selected through the Social Work Dept. of the Sheboygan School District. We will be “sorting” the gifts on Mon., Dec. 16th from 10:00 am – noon (helpers always needed). We are also in need of “deliverers” of the presents on Tuesday, Dec. 17th or Weds., Dec. 18th. Please speak with Pastor Julia if you can assist. The Thurs. Women’s Study Group is also baking cookies to go along with the Giving Tree packages. To donate cookies, speak to Pastor Julia.
2. Warm Woollies for Families in Need. You are also encouraged to bring in new winter hats, mittens, gloves and scarves and place them on the tree to be given out through the SASD elementary schools.
Ringing Bells for Salvation Army Kettle Campaign
We have reserved three days for ringing bells for the Salvation Army Kettles this Christmas season. They are as follows: Thurs. Dec. 5th 3-5pm at Festival Foods; Tues. Dec. 10th from 1-5 pm at Pick and Save N. 25th and Sat. Dec 14th from 1-3 pm at Piggly Wiggly North. Please sign-up for a one hour slot on the list in narthex. The Middle and High School youth will be ringing bells at 8 locations on Sat. Dec. 7th from 3-5 pm. Following the youth bell ringing on Dec. 7th, the youth will gather at El Camino Restaurant for dinner. The 4th/5th grade fellowship group will be ringing bells at 4 locations on Weds., Dec. 11th, from 4-5 pm, followed by a sub sandwich supper back at the church.
Delivering Flowers for Homebound – Sun. Dec. 29th
The poinsettias that decorate the church throughout the holiday season will be delivered to the members of First Congregational Church who are unable to get out. Following worship on Sun., Dec. 29th, please come to the front of the sanctuary to pick up a flower and bring it to someone you know that is homebound or in need of a “pick me up” this season. Share the Christmas joy.
Advent Church Gather/Soup Lunch – Sun., Dec. 1st
The whole church family is invited to gather for fun, fellowship and good food following worship. Event will begin with a simple soup lunch (donations of homemade breads and desserts needed.) Sign-up on poster or e-mail/call the church office to reserve your spot. While the adults decorate the sanctuary and narthex, children will have the opportunity to make some Christmas ornaments to hang on the sanctuary trees (thanks to Chris Martin for organizing). We will finish with singing carols in the sanctuary. Come enjoy a time of fellowship and holiday preparation.
Thursday Women’s Study Group – Thurs. Dec. 5th-19th
Each Thursday in December, the group will focus on various daily readings from the “Behold!” Advent Devotional from the UCC Stillspeaking Writer’s Group. Copies of the devotional can be purchased for $3. The group gathers from 9:00 – 10:15am in the church lounge.
Holiday Christmas Light Tour – Sun. Dec. 15th
Join us for our Eleventh Annual Tour of the Christmas lights of Sheboygan using the church bus from 6 – 7:00 pm. Either meet at the church or call the church office if you would like to be picked up at your home. This year, the tour will include the “Making Spirits Bright” drive through Evergreen Park hosted by the Sheboygan Rotary Club. Participants are invited to bring non-perishable food items as the “price” of admission. Following the one-hour tour, hot chocolate and cookies will be served at the church. Sign up on poster in the narthex. Randy and Ann Harden, organizers.
Middle School Christmas Party – Sun. Dec. 15th
All Middle School are invited to a Christmas Party at the Engberg’s home, 1221 N. 6th, Sheboygan. from 4:00-5:30 pm. Subs and drink will be provided – PLEASE BRING a dish to share (desserts, chips or salad). A $10-$15 gift exchange will take place, so please bring a gift to exchange.
High School Christmas Party – Sun., Dec. 15th
All High School Youth are invited to a Christmas Party at the Hollister’s home, 2802 N. 6th St., Sheboygan from 6-7:30 pm. Subs and drinks provided – PLEASE BRING a dish to share (desserts, chips or salad). WHITE ELEPHANT gift exchange will take place, so please bring an item.
Advent Devotionals and Calendars
Are you needing some help focusing during this busy holiday season? Please browse through the various advent devotionals which are available in the narthex. If you would like to read devotionals “on-line” check out the daily devotional website at www.i.ucc.org.
“Wake, Awake” – A Christmas Cantata – Sun. Dec. 8th
The Bach Choir will be offering a Christmas Cantata by composer D. Buxtehude during the 10:00 am worship service. If you would like to join in the singing, please contact Martin Ulrich (918-9777 or Ulrichm@lakeland.edu) for special rehearsal times.
Church School Christmas Program – Sun. Dec. 22nd
During the 10 am worship service, the church school children and youth will be presenting a Christmas program entitled “I Will Do My Part.” Come encourage our children and youth as they lead us in worship. Children have been rehearsing the music during church school class time on Sundays in Nov. and will continue on Dec. 1st, 8th and 15th. There will be a special rehearsal at 9:00 am on Sat. Dec. 21st.
Taizé Worship – Sun. Dec. 22nd
Enjoy a service of candlelight, beautiful music and prayers held at 7pm in the sanctuary. Pastor Jim, Martin Ulrich and Dan Ognavic, worship leaders.
Labyrinth Open – Sat. Dec. 14th and Christmas Eve – Dec. 24th
Our church labyrinth will be open to walk on Sat. Dec. 14th from 9am – noon. It will also be open on Christmas Eve, Tues. Dec. 24th from 9:00 am to 11:00 pm. Come prepare your hearts for the coming of Christ in this Advent and Christmas season.
Christmas Eve Candlelight Worship – Tues., Dec. 24th
Early evening brings the 4:00 pm worship service of Carols and Candles. Older youth will be sharing their musical talents during the prelude which begins at 3:40 pm. The traditional Christmas Eve service begins at 10:00 pm. An evening of scripture, reflections and beautiful music.