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Third Sunday in Advent

We dare this week to ignite a candle of Joy -- the third candle in Advent. A Sunday often dedicated to Mary, the mother of Jesus and her own advent as she awaited the birth of this Holy Child.

We learned in our Advent and Christmas last year, when we focused on Joy all season in celebration of the 300th anniversary of the Christmas hymn Joy to the World, that we can have moments of heart-felt joy even in the midst of sorrows and hardships. Even in the midst of grief.

Sometimes these moments of joy are understandably fleeting. Other times, an experience of joy takes us into a centered space to engage whatever challenges life brings.

In this Sunday's sermon, I discuss the Ode to Joy that is a choral work within Beethoven's Ninth Symphony.

Here are two links to free YouTube videos that focus on Beethoven's Ninth Symphony and its Ode to Joy Choral. One is a documentary called "Following the Ninth" on how this choral work has inspired people around the world at critical times in recent history. (The link is to the filmmaker's YouTube page. Don't be surprised when the first voice you hear is punk rock musician Billy Bragg. The other is a flashmob video of the "Ode to Joy" from several years ago. May they spark a few moments of blessing. (The flashmob is an all ages video. The documentary has references to topics that you may want to preview before sharing. The fall of the Berlin Wall, the Pinochet years in Chile, tsunami in Japan, the Tiananmen Square. In all instances, the film does not show violence but the narrator references some.)

Our faith and scripture demonstrate the power of songs of praise and hymns of joy, even in our most troubling times.

Whatever carol or word or vision brings you a moment of contentment, celebrate it. Cling to it. Expand the moment and take joy into the next moment.

Enjoy worship and then join our Zoom fellowship after worship at about 10:30 a.m.

In prayer and care,
Rev. Karen

And drop in between 2 p.m. and 3:30 Sunday to the VIRTUAL Parsonage Open House
More info and zoom link here.

Reminder: The video link is live when this email arrives. Many gather at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, and others watch as early as Saturday morning. Whenever you watch, may you feel as if the sanctuary has come into your home and feel the spirit of our faith community as we worship together virtually.

To find the worship order: 

After worship this Sunday,
all are invited to join in fellowship at 10:30 a.m. on Zoom

Here is the information for the Zoom fellowship gathering:
Meeting ID: 858 6602 7198
Password: 240151
Dial in by phone
        +1 669 900 6833
        +1 346 248 7799

Here is a link to the meeting, please do not post it on social media:
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