Advent & Christmas: The World is About to Turn
Advent at First Lutheran Church
Our Advent theme, “The World is About to Turn,” comes from the hymn “Canticle of the Turning (ELW 723),” which is a setting of Mary’s song from Luke 1. Mary’s song, the Magnificat, sings of a world turned upside-down by the anticipated coming of Christ.
This is a world of HOPE, PEACE, JOY, LOVE, and above all, a world blessed by GOD-WITH-US, Emmanuel.
Use the playlists above as a soundtrack to the season, pick up an Advent kit from church, and join us for our Advent worship and waiting.
Christmas at First Lutheran Church
We’re pleased to offer three distinct worship opportunities on Christmas Eve.
The most traditional of our offerings will be our online Lessons and Carols. This video will be available beginning at 3:00 p.m. on Christmas Eve, and will include may familiar faces and voices from our FLC family. If you resonate with the saying, “there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing,” then you might consider joining us for Walking Lessons and Carols in the morning or Sparkle and Shine Worship in the evening.
WEATHER CANCELLATION: Due to extremely cold conditions forecasted for Christmas Eve, both the Walking Lessons and Carols and Sparkle and Shine Outdoor Worship have been canceled.
Online Lessons & Carols for Christmas Eve (YouTube) – December 24, 3:00 p.m. and anytime after. Download Lessons & Carols bulletin here.
Advent & Christmas Carol Sing (Zoom) – December 27, 10:00 a.m.
No regular worship or fellowship hour this Sunday
Advent Worship Kits
We are thrilled to have distributed ALL the Advent Kits that we’d assembled, as a way to help FLC members and friends worship in their homes this season. Didn’t get one? No worries! Nothing in the kit is mandatory for worship. If you can pull together five candles for a makeshift Advent wreath, excellent. But even that is bonus. We want you to worship with us, whatever items you do or do not have. If you have a kit and are wondering how to use it in worship and on your own, click here for suggestions.
Advent Evening Prayer
Join us Wednesday evenings in Advent for an interactive online service of evening prayer. Individuals and families of all ages are invited to join us!
If you have an Advent kit, you’ll want to grab your Advent candles, prayer card, paper strips, and devotional booklet when you join. Otherwise, you can gather you own candle(s) and download the evening prayer liturgy here.
Longest Night Online Healing Service
In any year, we acknowledge that the approaching holidays are not joyous times for everyone. This is a season where losses of relationships, health, and jobs feel particularly painful.
This year especially, many of us are also feeling the grief of not being able to gather with family and friends during the holidays, and the winter months feel extra dark and isolating.
Longest Night worship on December 15 will be a quiet service of prayer and reflection for all who need a word of comfort and hope in this holy season. There will be time for healing prayer, a time to light candles, and a time to share communion.
Items to have on hand for worship: candle/Advent candles, communion elements (something approximating bread and wine), and a small amount oil or water for anointing.
Please join us, and invite all those in your life who need a safe space to acknowledge their grief, pain, or fear in this season of hope.
Christmas Eve Walking Lessons and Carols
On Christmas Eve morning, join Decorah Covenant, Decorah UCC, First Lutheran, First United Methodist, and Good Shepherd Lutheran churches for a community Walking Lessons and Carols event. Beginning in the First Lutheran Church courtyard, you will walk a path around town, stopping at various church and community locations to hear the Christmas story told in word and in song.
Start times will be staggered between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. to help ensure the safety of participants. Sign up for a start time here: https://bit.ly/3m7TBS6. Dress for the weather, please wear a mask, and help keep good distancing as we gather and walk. We look forward to celebrating with you! For questions or more information, contact Pastor Melissa or call the church office, 382–2638.
Lessons and Carols for Christmas Eve
The most traditional of our Christmas Eve worship offerings, this will be a festive service of readings and carols for the season. You will see many familiar FLC faces, across all ages, who will be sharing readings and offering gifts of music. A worship booklet for this service will be mailed to all FLC households so that you can easily follow and sing along!
The service will be available on the FLC YouTube channel beginning at 3:00 p.m. Christmas Eve. Watch anytime! Perhaps you choose to watch it at the time you’d usually be attending Christmas Eve worship. Maybe you schedule a virtual watch party with FLC friends. Perhaps you settle on the couch to watch it at the end of the night, presents wrapped, hot chocolate in hand, by the glow of the Christmas tree. There’s no wrong way to watch.
Christmas Eve Sparkle and Shine Worship
Join us for outdoor Christmas Eve worship at 7 p.m., Thursday, December 24 in the FLC courtyard. We will celebrate the birth of Christ with readings, songs, lights, and sparklers. Stand or bring a chair; it’s your choice. Blankets, hand–warmers, and warm socks are encouraged!
We are in need of fire pits, patio heaters, or other freestanding heating devices to keep us warm during outdoor Christmas Eve worship. Do you have one we can borrow? We are also looking for donations of firewood and volunteers to tend fires for Christmas Eve worship. Contact the church office if you can help.
Advent and Christmas Carol Sing
On the First Sunday of Christmas at 10:00 a.m., join FLC friends on Zoom for a carol sing made up of your requests. Mike Ellingsen will lead us in singing our favorite songs of the season as a way to continue our Christmas celebrations.
There will be no 9:00 a.m. worship or online fellowship this Sunday.