2021 Advent at Grace

2021 Advent at Grace

We are looking forward to a wonderful Advent season here at Grace. It will be full of opportunities to gather together in fellowship, service, reflection, and worship, as we prepare for, and celebrate the birth of Jesus. We ask that you RSVP via Realm or call (803-548-0800) or e-mail (Peggy@gracefortmill.org) to let us know you are attending an event. In addition to the events listed below, you are encouraged to take part is some of the other service opportunities.

Advent Events

  • November 28, 8am & 10:15 - Advent - Week 1: “Making Room” (Hope)
    • We usually associate fasting with Lent, but the Eastern Church observes a “Nativity Fast” in preparation for the birth of Christ, understanding fasting as a way to “make more room” for the Holy and shift our focus to care of the neighbor. In a time when so many are suffering the economic consequences of the pandemic, we are invited this year to create room for more hope in the world as we learn to reallocate and multiply resources in ways that are just and right.
  • December 4, 5-8pm - Children's Christmas Party at the church - REGISTER HERE
    • The Children’s Christmas Party is for ages 4 through 5th grade. The theme this year is A Charlie Brown Christmas. There will be snacks, crafts, singing, games, lots of fun and, of course, we’ll hear about the true reason we celebrate Christmas.
  • December 4, 5-8pm - -ish Christmas Party at the Eppes house - REGISTER HERE
    • The -ish group is designed for adults in their 20s-40s. That being said, we won't be checking ID's for anyone who stops by the Eppes house that night. Any adults who want to attend are welcome!
  • December 5, 8am & 10:15 - Advent - Week 2: “A Place at the Table” (Peace)
    • Like the childhood game of “musical chairs,” we are convinced that there are not enough places at the table. And so we shrink the guest list just in case there is not enough, and we scramble to occupy the chairs first. And yet our sacred texts invite us to imagine and make real the gathering of all people to the table, robed in the garments of a Peace that comes with justice. This is what really matters– this is the fruit of what is right and good.
  • December 5, 5pm - Grace Family First Night - Socking Stuffers - REGISTER HERE
    • The return of Grace Family First Night is here! It will be a little different than it has been in the past. A nice holiday meal will be provided, so no need for you to bring any food. You are only asked to bring a package of men’s socks. After eating we will stuff socks! We will put one sock in the other, then continue to stuff it with goodies. These stuffed socks will be handed out at the Bethel Men’s Shelter so that the men will be provided with some snacks as well as a pair of socks. Following the socking stuffing, we will head outside to the firepits and roast some marshmallows and have s’mores for dessert.
  • December 12, 8am & 10:15 - Advent - Week 3: “How Much Is Enough?” (Joy)
    • As John baptized new converts, he invited them to live with “changed hearts and lives.” When asked how to do that, his answers all point to making sure no one is cheated or left without the basic necessities of life, including the right to not be  harassed. A full life of joy, which the prophet Isaiah describes as an everflowing spring, is the birthright of all children of God. May we act to make it so.
  • December 15, 11:30am - SAM Christmas Party at Towne Tavern - REGISTER HERE
    • This year we will meet at Towne Tavern on 160. We will have a room to ourselves. Just like past SAM lunches, everyone will order off the menu. You are encouraged to bring a wrapped gift ($10 value) for the gift exchange. The gift should be practical. 
  • December 17, 6pm - Gap Christmas Party at the Ochsner's house - REGISTER HERE
    • This year’s Gap Christmas Party will be held at the Ochsner’s house again. It will be a great time of fellowship. The Gap group is designed for adults in the 40's-60's, but welcome everyone.
  • December 19, 8am & 10:15 - Advent - Week 4: “A Room with a View” (Love)
    • This has been an Advent season of prophets: Jeremiah, Baruch, Isaiah, Micah. And now the prophet is Mary–the woman who was the original house for the holy. She was “the inn,” her womb gestating love for the world. With all her heart, she proclaims that the lowly are lifted, the hungry are fed, mercy reigns. Like Mary, we must envision, must see, must prophesy and act on that vision for the world that God continues to call us to co-create. What is the view from the room that God has prepared?
  • December 19, 3-4:30pm - Birthday Party for Jesus at the church - REGISTER HERE
    • A Birthday Party for Jesus is for ages 3 through 2nd grade. We will have crafts, singing, story time, and Birthday CAKE!
  • December 19, 5-6pm - Longest Night Service
    • The Longest Night service offers us an opportunity to remember those who may have died this year, those who may have died long ago, or other losses in our lives. We acknowledge our losses, pray for shalom (wholeness) and give thanks for the God who is with us in joy and in sorrow, in light and in darkness, Emmanuel, God-with-us not just in the celebrations of a birth, but in all the seasons and experiences in our lives. This will be a drop-in style service.
  • December 19, 6:15pm - gYg Christmas Party at the church
    • The youth group Christmas party will take place at the church. This is for grades 6-12.
  • December 24, 5pm & 9pm - Christmas Eve Service - 5PM REGISTER HERE  -  9PM REGISTER HERE
    • Join us for Christmas Eve as we continue our journey to The Inn. The Inn is now open for business. The long-awaited Messiah has been born and on him the light shines. We have only to open the doors of our lives and to say “welcome.” Our Advent journey has led us to this moment when the light shining through a closed door becomes one opened to new possibilities, new relationships. What a poignant moment for us this year as the light–the hope, peace, joy and love–multiplies from one illuminated heart and hand to another. 
  • December 26, 10:15 - Sunday after Christmas: "Dwelling"
    • Developed in the 14th century, the word “dwell” became known as a “lingering” or “abiding.” It had connections to “in-habit”–another word developed at that time. After an Advent/Christmas season of focusing on housing the holy, how will we linger and abide in this habit of hospitality? What habits did you invite into your heart in this season that you desire to take with you into the new year? How might we sustain the dwelling places that feed, house, clothe those who need it most?

Advent Service Activities

  • Angel Tree - The 2021 Christmas season is upon us and once again, Grace Presbyterian is partnering with York County DSS to provide gifts to children in the local foster care system who may others not have an enjoyable holiday.  If you would like to sponsor a child go to the Angel Tree page. Just follow the directions at the top of the page in order to choose a child. Please feel free to share this list with your local friends who may want to provide a gift for a child in our local foster care system. More names will be made available in person at the church as they are released by DSS, so keep an eye out for the Angel Tree at the front of the sanctuary!
    Please note gifts are due at the church no later than Sunday, December 5th.
    Questions? Please Contact Katie Rutland via email: katietrutland@gmail.com. 
  • RAINdeer Gifts - For almost 20 years, Grace has purchased $10 gift cards for our RAINdeer gift project which benefits families in York County affected by HIV/AIDs. Although no longer affiliated with the Regional AIDS Interfaith Network, Affinity Healthcare continues the mission in York county to provide support and service to clients in need.
    Once you have purchased one or more $10 gift cards from Food Lion, Target, or Walmart, please put the gift cards in a white envelope and write your name on it and turn it in to the church office by December 12.
  • Reverse Advent - We're going to have reverse Advent Calendars, where each day instead of getting something, you give something to someone (for families with children, it may be the gift of time.)  You will be able to pick up baskets at the church on November 28. The full baskets should be returned when you come for the Christmas Eve service.