What is advent? Is it the same as Christmas?

For many of us these two seasons have become blurred, “Hollywoodized” and commercialized.

For long advent has been just a time to get ready for Christmas. Actually they are distinct and each worthy of careful focus and deliberate engagement. Christmas is undoubtedly a wonderful celebration of God who comes to us. It rightly is seen as a gift of grace and should go with gift-giving and joy and wonder. Christmas focusses on Jesus’ coming among us some 2000 years ago. God’s initiative and the incarnation influence hugely what the Christian gospel is and means.

But Jesus came to begin the redemption of the world, all in it and of a fallen creation. Advent looks forward to the culmination of that which Jesus began with His first coming. It is about how things end when Jesus comes again. It looks forward to His second coming, the new creation and the final fulfilment of all things. Advent, the beginning of the Church calendar, gets us to focus on the end, so that we can “begin with the end in mind”.

At Walmer Methodist Church, this year, we will celebrate 4 Sundays of Advent, starting 6 November and then from Sunday 11 December we will focus on Christmas as a season. This will include both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day (which this year is a Sunday) and finish on Sunday January 1 2017.

Traditional Christmas carols and other pertinent worship songs and music will be used from Sunday 11 December when we begin our Christmas season.

Please note that Sunday 4 December will be the last Sunday with four morning services for 2016. Our Sam Studios (Sunday School) year end and closing celebration will be at the 08h15 service on this day. From Sunday 11 December up to and including Sunday 8 January 2017 there will be services at 7h00, 9h00 and 18h00 each Sunday.

Special days this Christmas season.

14 December (Wednesday)
We will have our Christmas Carol Service in the Church. Join us for a congregational picnic from 17h30 beforehand. Boerewors rolls, sosaties, colddrinks and bottled water will be on sale. Bring your picnic basket and blanket if you prefer. At 19h00 the Carol Service will commence in the Church.

20 December (Tuesday)
There will be a Christmas of Hope Communion service at 18h00 in the Church. We hold in mind those who have died and stand with those who are struggling or have faced trauma. We come with our hurts and fears and allow God with us and for us to minister to us. All are welcome. Should you wish to include a loved one you have lost please contact the Church Office.

24 December (Saturday)
Join us at 22h45 for Christmas Eve Communion in the Church.

25 December (Sunday)
Celebrate Christmas Day with us at either 07h00 or 09h00.

01 January 2017 (Sunday)
Please note that we will only have 09h00 and 18h00 services.

Keep an eye on our calendar for event updates and further details. We pray that you would partner with us in making this season meaningful as we prepare for the arrival of our King and rejoice in all that God has done for us through Jesus Christ.