Greetings, all! The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.
While many of us might not be ready to think about the changing season and that dreaded “S” word (snow!), one thing that we are eagerly looking forward to is the upcoming Advent and Christmas season. Last year, we were able to welcome in the season virtually, but I’m sure that there were many traditions and memories that we weren’t able to fully live into. And yet, Christmas came, and we celebrated God’s presence with us one more.
But this year, with a better Covid situation and our continued diligence to care for one another, we are able to have more in-person Advent and Christmas services and activities. This Advent, we will reflect and anticipate together the need for God’s presence with us. This Christmas, we will celebrate God’s vulnerable yet almighty presence with us in these still-vulnerable times.
Below is a list of dates, followed by a more detailed explanation of the services and activities we will be having. Some dates have still not been finalized, so please look out for more updates as they become available.
Advent and Christmas 2021 at a Glance:
Friday Nov 26th – Brussels Outdoor Advent Decoration Service (7:00 p.m.)
Saturday Nov 27th – Brussels Santa Claus Parade (5:00 p.m.)
Saturday Nov 27th – Blyth Outdoor Advent Decoration Service (7:00 p.m.)
Sunday Nov 28th – 1st Sunday of Advent (Brussels 9:30 a.m.; Blyth 11:00 a.m.)
- Communion will be celebrated at this service.
Sunday Dec 5th – 2nd Sunday of Advent (Brussels 9:30 a.m.; Blyth 11:00 a.m.)
Early-Mid December – Caroling at Huronlea (date and time TBD)
Sunday Dec 12th – 3rd Sunday of Advent (Brussels 9:30 a.m.; Blyth 11:00 a.m.)
Week of Dec 13th-17th – Family and Congregational Craft/Story Time (times TBD)
Sunday Dec 19th – “Christmas in the Barn” joint service in Brussels (location and time TBD)
Week before Christmas – Blue Christmas services (date and times TBD)
Friday Dec 24th – Christmas Eve services (Brussels 7:00 p.m., Blyth 8:00 p.m.)
Sunday Dec 26th – 1st Sunday of Christmas Lessons and Carols Service (pre-recorded)
Sunday Jan 2nd – Epiphany services (Brussels 9:30 a.m.; Blyth 11:00 a.m.)
Events in Detail:
Outdoor Decoration Services
Like last year, we will be ringing in the Advent season by having short outdoor decoration services. We will reflect on the hopes, worries, and everything else that we bring into this season. These services will take place outside the church buildings, and will last for around 20 minutes.
Caroling at Huronlea
Let’s bring the holiday spirit to some of our community members who have been most impacted by Covid. With current restrictions, only a few musicians and congregation members can offer indoor music for the residents, but we appreciate all the prayers and well-wishes as we do so!
Family Craft/Story Time
We invite all the families and others in our congregations to share in a time of Christmas cheer. We will craft some ornaments, sing some carols, share in story time, and celebrate as a community. We will have one of these sessions at Blyth, and another at Brussels. Pre-registration will be required. Dates will be coming soon!
“Christmas in the Barn” Service
We will be having a joint outdoor service the final Sunday of Advent, where we will be sharing in a live nativity. We will sing carols, explore what it is we are bringing to the manger, and enjoying the winter magic of a nativity display. This service will be roughly 30-35 minutes. Please dress for the weather. Some seating will be available, but you are welcome to bring your own lawn chair if you prefer. There will not be worship in the sanctuaries this Sunday.
Blue Christmas Services
With our Anglican siblings, we will be offering Blue Christmas services. These services offer a time of reflection and peacefulness to those who are mourning, feeling lost, or otherwise need comfort and support this season. The plan is to have an afternoon service at Brussels United, and an evening service at Trinity Anglican (Blyth). Date TBD.
We are excited to be having Christmas Eve in our sanctuaries this year. The service portion itself will last for roughly 30 minutes, but there will be a carol sing along with the service. The Brussels service starts at 7:00 p.m., followed by a carol sing. The Blyth carol sing will start at 7:30 p.m., with the service beginning shortly after 8:00 p.m.
For the Christmas Eve services, we will be requiring proof of vaccination. The primary reason for this is so that we can have the Christmas Eve experience in as normal a fashion as possible. With a proof of vaccination policy, we will be able to have more people in the sanctuary. It will also provide some peace of mind for those who have family coming from other communities or who have children too young to be vaccinated. Masks will need to be worn for the service.
Lessons and Carols Service
There will not be in-person worship on the First Sunday of Christmas (Dec 26th). Instead, there will be a pre-recorded Lessons and Carols service available online. This service will be prepared by members of the Brussels Ministerial.