Round up

Christmas services at First

Congregational Church

The public is invited to share worship with the members and friends of First Congregational Church on Dec. 24, 10 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Sunday morning, Dec. 24, the Deacons will read the Prophecy lesson as they light the fourth candle on the Advent Wreath –the candle of love. Special music for the prelude will be provided by Jan Randolph and the choir will offer the anthem “Fear Not.” The message, “Birthing A Promise,” will be offered by the Rev. Linda Steelman.

Sunday evening at 7:30 p.m. features a Festival Candlelight Service of Lessons and Carols patterned after the tradition of Kings College, Cambridge, England. Lay readers will present the scriptures.

Special music for Christmas Eve features organist-choir director Scott Hobson, and musicians Jan Randolph, Bill Cline, and the Chancel Choir. The choir will present the anthem “Glory to God.” The congregation will join in the carols. The service concludes with the singing of “Silent Night” as candles alone light the sanctuary.

The meditation for the evening, “So Big” will be presented by the Rev. Linda Steelman.

Begin or renew a Christmas tradition at First Congregational Church United Church of Christ, 318 Front St., Marietta. Visitors are always welcome. Call the church office, 740-373-0741, with any questions or wish to inquire further about the church and its ministry to the community.

Lenten Bible studies

Gilman United Methodist Church will offer three Lenten Bible studies in January:

¯ “The God We Can Know: Exploring the ‘I Am’ Sayings of Jesus,” by Rob Fuquay, will be at 3 p.m. Thursday afternoon from Feb. 8 to March 22 (seven weeks) in the fellowship hall, lead by Judy Spahr and Pastor Diann. Sign-up is between Jan. 7 through 28. A suggested donation of $8 will cover the cost of the book.

“The God We Can Know” is a seven-week study designed to explore the “I Am” sayings of Jesus found in the Gospel of John. This series will help participants find and form an answer to Jesus’ most essential question in the Christian faith, “Who do you say I am?”One by one, Jesus’s statements grab our imagination, reveal more about his identity and purpose, and connect us to the God of Moses, who spoke the first “I Am.” These significant, yet ordinary images (bread, light, shepherd, vine, and more) give us insightful ways to experience Jesus and point us to a God who wants to be known.

The DVD, filmed on location in the Holy Land, allows you to travel with Rob Fuquay and actually see the places where Jesus stood while disclosing his true identity, and in what context he spoke each “I Am.” The book provides a meaningful, eye-opening experience for all.

¯ “He Chose the Nails: What God Did to Win Your Heart,” by Max Lucado, will be Sunday evenings from 7 to 8:30 p.m. from Feb. 18 to March 25 (six weeks) in the fellowship hall, lead by Jim Zoller. The cost is $7 for the book. Sign-up is between Jan. 7 and Feb. 4.

Every gift from God reveals his love, but no gift reveals his love more than the gifts of the cross. These gifts came not wrapped in paper but in passion. They were not placed around a tree but around a cross. They were not covered with ribbons but sprinkled with the blood that Christ shed on our behalf.

In this five-session video Bible study, Max Lucado explores the many gifts that Christ provided to us at his crucifixion. These include not only the gift of the cross, but also the gift of the thorns that pierced his brow, the nails that tore his flesh, the seamless robe that he removed for us, and the empty tomb where he forever defeated sin and death. The hill of the cross is rich with the gifts of God’s grace. These were gifts he didn’t have to give. The only required act for our salvation was the shedding of blood, yet God did so much more. So, as we unwrap these gifts, we need to pause and listen for his voice. As we do, perhaps we will hear him whisper, “I did it just for you.”

¯ “Finding My Way Home: Pathways of Life and the Spirit,” by Henri Nouwen, will be Tuesday mornings from 9:30 to 11 a.m. from Feb. 27 to March 20 (four weeks) in the lounge off the sanctuary at Gilman, lead by Judy Allen and Kathy Wentz. The cost is $13. Sign-up is between Jan. 7 through Feb. 18.

Henri Nouwen became one of the most inspiring spiritual guides of the 20th century. Culled from a life of intense seeking, these profound meditations on living, waiting, power, peace, and dying offer important insights that will inspire all who dare to travel a spiritual path.

Lent is a time of renewal in Christ, and a time to grow in God. Choose one of these helpful studies to guide you in that process.

Worship services at Gilman UM

January worship services at Gilman United Methodist Church, located at 312 Gilman Ave., Marietta.

“My Gift for the King” will be the message on Sunday, Jan. 7, Epiphany.

This Sunday at Gilman United Methodist Church, as we celebrate the coming of the Wise Men to honor Jesus with their presence and their gifts, we will consider what gift we would bring to honor the newborn King. Worship service starts at 10:30 am and a staffed nursery is provided. There is a “Meet, Greet & Eat” fellowship time held at 10 am prior to worship. The church is located at 312 Gilman Ave. on the west side with the Pastor Diann O’Bryant presenting the message.

“My View of His Baptism” will be the message on Sunday, Jan. 14, Baptism of Our Lord Sunday.

This Sunday at Gilman United Methodist Church, as we celebrate the baptism of Jesus, we will explore what his baptism means for our lives. We will also reflect on the significance of our own baptisms as we remember them. Worship service starts at 10:30 a.m. and a staffed nursery is provided. There is a “Meet, Greet & Eat” fellowship time held at 10 a.m. prior to worship. The church is located at 312 Gilman Ave. on the west side with the Pastor Diann O’Bryant presenting the message.

Beginning in January will be at three-part message series at Gilman United Methodist Church, “Everyday Disciples.”

Every Christian faces the same challenge: How do I live out my faith in my day-to-day life. John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, used 21 questions to help the early Methodists to find a more sustainable union with God through everyday practices. This message series will examine Wesley’s question and help us to ask them of our own lives.

¯ Jan. 21 — Part 1, “Spiritual Life.”

¯ Jan. 28 — Part 2, “Day to Day Life.”

¯ Feb. 4 — Part 3, “Life with Others.”

Worship service starts at 10:30 a.m. and a staffed nursery is provided. There is a “Meet, Greet & Eat” fellowship time held at 10 a.m. prior to worship. The church is located at 312 Gilman Ave. on the west side with the Pastor Diann O’Bryant presenting the messages.

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