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Advent 2017

Christmas means many things to different people.   It can be a time of fun and family.  It can be a time of loss and loneliness.  Days grow shorter and colder.  We could all use a little more light to shine in the darkness.

For Christians, Christmas is about the birth of Jesus, our Lord and Savior, God with us, the one who is the light that shines in the darkness.  These weeks before Christmas are a season called Advent, a time for preparation and considering why we so desperately long for God's presence in this world.  All are invited to join us for this season of songs, stories, and celebrations.

Christmas Eve Services:
8:30 AM Lessons in Carols
11:00 AM Bluegrass Christmas
4:30 PM Family Service with

candlelight & Communion
7 PM Traditional Service with

candlelight & Communion

Special Events & Services:

Hanging of the Greens - Saturday, Dec. 2
Children’s Music Festival - Saturday, Dec. 2, 9 AM - 12:30 PM
Advent Wreath Workshop - Sunday, Dec. 3, 5 PM

Youth Party with a Purpose - Saturday, Dec. 9, 9 AM
Come As You Are Nativity - Wednesday, Dec. 13, 6:30 PM

Vivaldi’s Gloria - Sunday, Dec. 17, 11 AM
Children’s Christmas Program - Sunday, Dec. 17, 4 PM
Longest Night Worship Service - Thursday, Dec. 21, 7 PM
Moravian LoveFeast - Sunday, Dec. 31, 11 AM
(only one worship service on the 31st)

Advent Devotionals

Our Advent Devotional this year is "Lifting Up the Lowly," from the Society of St. Andrew.  They are free (one per family) and available to pick up at the church beginning November 26th.

Advent Adventures

Beginning next Wednesday, November 29, we'll be doing a couple weeks of Advent Adventures after dinner.  Our Advent Adventures are open to children, parents, and any interested youth or adults who want to join us at 6:30 PM for Advent activities and crafts, concluding with a brief worship time at 7:15 PM.

Hanging of the Greens

Help decorate the church for the holiday season on Saturday, December 2 at 9 AM in the Sanctuary and in Bradley Hall.

Advent Wreath Workshop

Everyone is invited to a simple potluck meal and evening of holiday crafts on Sunday, December 3 at 5 PM.  We'll gather in Bradley Hall for our dinner; bring a pot of soup or side dish to share.  After we eat, the supplies will be one hand to make your own Advent wreath to use at home for celebrating the season.  Donations are appreciated to help cover the costs of the wreath supplies and if you've made one in past years, please bring your frame to use again.

Children's Music Festival

Children in Kindergarten through 5th grade are invited to join our children's choir director, Jo Anne Swartz, for a morning of singing and holiday music on Saturday, December 2, 9 AM - 12:30 PM.  There will be fun activities and the kids will learn songs to sing in worship the next morning, Sunday, December 3.  You don't have to be part of the children's choir to participate!  Let us know if you plan to join us.

Children's Christmas Program

Children and their families are invited to gather in the Conference Room on Sunday, December 17 at 4 PM for a time of holiday celebration.

Come As You Are Nativity

Come, young and old, children and adults, to the Sanctuary on Wednesday, December 13, at 6:30 PM, for our annual retelling of the Christmas story:  angels, shepherds, animals in the manger, wise men (and women) who travel from afar -- there's a role for everyone to play!  It's a fairly short program and there's no rehearsals or sign-ups -- just come as you are.

Advent: A Musical Season

Join us every week in worship for the best of the holiday season's music:

December 3 - Children's Choir singing at 10:30 Connection service and 11 AM Traditional service

December 10 - HUMRingers handbell choir leads worship at 11 AM Traditional service

December 17 - Vivaldi's Gloria will be presented by the Highland Choir and musicians from the NC Symphony at 11 AM Traditional service

December 24 - Christmas carols of the season at 8:30 AM Communion service; Bluegrass Christmas at 11 AM; Familiar carols at our 4:30 PM & 7 PM Christmas Eve services

December 31 - Highland Winds orchestral ensemble leads worship at our Moravian Lovefeast service at 11 AM

The Longest Night

A Service of Light in the Midst of Darkness

Thursday, December 21, 7:00 PM

Christmas can be a bittersweet time of year.  The Longest Night is a service for all, especially those who have experienced loss or find the holidays a difficult time of year.  It is a service to express sadness and concern, to realize that we are not alone, to remember those in need, and to experience the healing presence of God as we await the coming of Christ.  Join us to hear scripture, offer prayers for wholeness, receive Holy Communion, and hear songs that acknowledges God’s comfort for those who mourn, grieve, and struggle.  All are welcome.

Moravian Lovefeast

We'll gather for one worship service on Sunday, December 31 at 11:00 in the Sanctuary to continue our celebration of the Christmas season with our rendition of a traditional Moravian Lovefeast.  This service of lessons and carols includes special refreshments, lots of holiday music, and opportunities to share how we have seen God at work in our lives. (No children or youth Sunday School classes on December 31.)

Remembrance Tree

The Remembrance Tree stands on Highland’s front lawn each December as a way of remembering friends and loved ones during the holiday season.  You can purchase a light for $10 in honor or in memory of someone and proceeds go to support Family Promise. We give thanks to Amy and O’Dell Massey for their help coordinating this ministry each year.  Order forms are in the Narthex at Highland and can be turned into the church office.

Highland will light our 2017 Remembrance Tree on December 1 through December 31.  Lights may be purchased through Sunday, December 10.

Poinsettias

If you would like to purchase a poinsettia in memory or honor of a special person and have it placed in the sanctuary during Advent, order forms will be available in the Narthex at Highland throughout November.  Please return the order form and payment to the church office or call Eddie Wood (787-8696).  The cost per plant will be $8.00.  Checks should be made payable to Highland United Methodist Church, "poinsettia" in the memo.  Deadline for ordering is Sunday, December 3rd. Poinsettias will be available for collection after the Christmas Eve service.

Pride for Parents

The purpose of the Pride for Parents Christmas Store is to celebrate the birth of Christ by providing low-income parents, in need of financial assistance, a way to purchase gifts for their children at affordable prices. Our goal is to preserve the pride and dignity of the families we serve. Instead of giving families in our community a hand-out, we offer a hand-up so that they can purchase their own toys and gifts at a discounted rate. ​

WAYS YOU CAN HELP:
-DONATE new toys, bikes/helmets, games, books, and clothing for infants thru teens.
-DONATE $$ or gift cards and Pride for Parents coordinators will purchase new items for the store. Drop-off locations will be in the Narthex and Bradley Hall; last day to drop-off will be December 10.
-VOLUNTEER by sorting/pricing toys, stocking shelves, greeting shoppers, helping shoppers with selections, gift wrapping or providing snacks for volunteers. There will be four Pride for Parents locations in Raleigh this season. Click here to sign up to help at any of the locations.