Advent Festival Joy and Gratitude

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The Church celebrated Advent last Sunday with our annual Advent Festival.  Tara Barrett, our crafter extraordinaire, provided vases, candles, pine cones and accompanying decorative touches to create festive holiday centerpieces.  People of all ages transformed glass ornaments into Grinches and Rudolphs.  Children at the Toddler Craft Table designed ornaments of paper stars, flowerpot bells and craft stick Christmas trees.  Children also constructed Advent Wreath Banners with velcro flames so they can observe the Advent Sundays at home just like we do at church each week.  Participants also designed Christmas cards which we will send to people who can’t make it to church during this season.  Amelia Iuliano supplied live green wreaths and assisted people with adorning them with big bows and colorful decor.  The Youth Group showed off their culinary skills under the direction of Jay Hirsch and supplied us with many sugar cookies to frost.

Following the crafts, the children of the Sunday School recreated the first Christmas night. Many dressed as animals, shepherds and angels. The pageant was spearheaded by Kathy Lee with the musical accompaniment of Ellen Schowalter, Jake, Tucker and Miles Houston, and Larry Lee. The narrators from the Confirmation Class guided the children through their scenes which culminated in a Sunday School Choir rendition of “Go Tell It on the Mountain.”

The evening capped off with a sumptuous potluck supper including an array of scrumptious desserts.  We enjoyed good conversation and forged new connections within our church.  Throughout the event, 115 people attended.  In the midst of a busy December, we set time aside to be in the moment of Advent.

Although this event didn’t exactly have a cast of thousands, it certainly had a cast of dozens!  I would like to extend my thanks to everyone involved in making this day special, especially Tara Barrett and Kathy Lee. I thank all the volunteers who publicized the event, assisted with the crafts, finagled cords to ensure we had electricity for our glue guns, helped set up risers in the Sanctuary, organized costumes, performed, prepared microphones, set up tables for the Pot Luck, provided food for the meals and cleaned up after the festivities completed.

This event was sponsored by the Christian Education Committee whose members are:  Debra Tangarone, Chair, Betsy Barker, Kathy Lee, Eric Summerer and Gayle Logan. Thank you for your dedication to this event.

I have quickly learned here that every church event is born through the collaboration of church staff.  I thank Pastors David and Clare for recruiting members of the Youth Group and Confirmation Class to assist at the Festival.  Lastly, I thank our office manager, Julia McLaughlin, for her technical assistance with our pageant bulletin and poster signage.

Most of all, I thank God for this church and all the blessings brought forth from its many dedicated members and friends.

With gratitude,
Laurie Bleickardt
Acting Christian Education Coordinator