Second Sunday in Advent – December 8. We will continue to explore our theme: “Room for All at the Manger.” We will feature the people associated with Jesus’ birth. Which are you? Scholar? Seeker? Skeptic? Servant? – there’s room for all. On the Sunday, December 8, Pastor Chris Weichman presents “King Herod – schemer” based on Matthew 2:1-12, 16-20 as the sermon of the week. As a reminder, there will be only ONE worship service on December 15 at 11:00 a.m. The children and youth are leading worship that day. Join us for our Christmas Eve Candlelight worship service on Tuesday, December 24 at 6:30 p.m. All the Covenant choirs will provide music.
Advent pot-luck dinners during Connections on December 4 and December 11 at 5:15 p.m. in Knox Hall. A main course, basic salad and beverages will be provided each week. You are asked to bring an appetizer, side dish, or dessert to share. No set charge to attend; $3 per person suggested donation. Bring a co-worker, neighbor or friend! Here’s December’s after-dinner lineup for the Advent pot-lucks:
Dec. 4 – “Hanging of the Greens” – help prepare the church for Advent & Christmas! Main course: roast beef! Bring sides to share!
Dec. 11 – Christmas Caroling with Monty at Encompass Health/Health South Rehab Hospital. Main course provided. Bring sides to share!
Enjoy the delights at First Covenant on Friday, December 6: First Covenant is collaborating with the Erie Downtown Partnership and the Erie Art Museum for “Downtown D’Lights” & “Gallery Night” on December 6. Many hands are needed to serve cocoa and share Advent event flyers in Perry Square at the 5 p.m. for the unveiling of the annual holiday lights in downtown Erie. The First Covenant Sanctuary will be open from 6 – 10 p.m. that night as we open our doors and welcome those enjoying the festivities. Dr. DeSanctis’ nativities will be on display and visitors will also enjoy music by the Covenant choirs, staff and Gannon’s Pep Band. In addition, the Strong Vincent Middle School Choir will perform at 7:30 p.m.! Call, text or email Seph to indicate how you can help at 566.0287 or [email protected]
Share the Bounty: Food donations for the Christmas food baskets can be dropped off at the church office until December 8. The Deacons of First Covenant are collecting non-perishable canned and boxed food items for families in need. If you bring your food donations to church on Sunday, the youth will collect your donations during worship service. If you know someone in need, or have questions, call Lorie Fritts at 823-4838.
Come hear The Messiah at First Covenant: The Erie Philharmonic Chorus and members of the Erie Philharmonic Orchestra will perform Handel’s Messiah in our sanctuary on Saturday, December 14 at 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Come hear a wonderful concert and celebrate the Christmas season. To purchase tickets, go to the Erie Philharmonic website or call 814.455.1375.
Christmas Poinsettias program benefits our historical organ: In lieu of gifts of poinsettias, your gift will benefit the Vicary Organ Maintenance Fund. A display of poinsettias will still represent the gifts given and be placed in the chancel. Names of those memorialized or honored will be printed on a bulletin insert. For a gift of $10 per name or $25 for three names, loved ones can still be remembered or honored. The deadline for all orders is Sunday, December 15. Please contact the church office to place your order and to make your arrangements early.
Children and Youth Advent worship service on Sunday, December 15: With the theme“Room for All at the Manger,” the children and youth will lead a combined worship service on December 15 at 11:00 a.m. There is only one worship service on December 15. We will be exploring the ways that Christ’s birth is celebrated around the world through scripture, song and visual mediums, reminding us that Christ’s birth was good news to all the Earth and that there is room for each one of us at the Manger.
Christmas Joy Offering – December 22: A cherished Presbyterian tradition since the 1930’s, the Christmas Joy offering is one of the four special offerings designated by the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Fifty percent of the receipts from the Christmas Joy Offering are distributed to the Assistance Program of the Board of Pensions, which provides support to both active and retired church workers and their spouses and families. The other 50 percent supports scholarships at Presbyterian-related racial ethnic schools and colleges through the General Assembly Mission Council. Look for the Christmas Joy Offering envelope in the pews or use one of your own.
First Covenant office hours for Christmas and New Year’s: The church office will close at 12 noon on Christmas Eve Day-Tuesday, December 24. The office will remain closed Christmas Day – Wednesday, December 25 through Thursday, December 26. The church office will also be closed on New Year’s Eve Day – Tuesday, December 31 and New Year’s Day – Wednesday, January 1. Regular office hours resume on Thursday, January 2.