4th Sunday in Advent

The tradition continues!

Each year, members of Fries participate in the program at Cleveland Avenue Homes which allows parents to give their children gifts for Christmas.

Please remember to attach the child’s name to your gifts.

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This is the 3rd Sunday in Advent and our theme is “Joy!”

The Hebrew Bible is filled with Joy. The words “joy,” “rejoice,” or “rejoicing” occur 242 times:

  • 11 times in the Pentateuch (Gen through Deut)
  • 114 times in the Wisdom Literature (Job through Song of Solomon)
  • 73 times in the Prophets (Major and Minor)
  • 44 times in the Historical Books (Joshua through Ester).

Over and over again the people of Israel are told to “rejoice before the LORD” as they celebrate God’s goodness to their nation in everything from the Exodus from Egypt, to the annual harvest, to the hope of the people for a bright and prosperous future. Deuteronomy 12:18 declares, “You shall rejoice before the LORD your God in all that you undertake.”
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3rd Sunday in Advent – Joy

December 13 – Joy

The shelters at area churches that normally serve the homeless population are not operating as usual. However, we can serve this population through the City with Dwellings organization, who helps guests secure individual, long term rooms at a local hotel, giving them the opportunity to shelter in place, and work on establishing life rhythms that are necessary for independent living.

Specific donation needs are available online through their Amazon Wish List, with items shipped directly to City with Dwellings, 520 N. Spring St, Winston-Salem, NC 27101.

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Spotlight on a Favorite Christmas Carol

James Montgomery was a Scottish poet heavily influenced by the Moravians.   His popularity as a hymnist trails only Isaac Watts and Charles Wesley. One of Montgomery’s best-loved hymns is a Christmas Carol, “Angels from the Realms of Glory.”  Follow this link to an article on the history of the carol posted by the Discipleship Ministries of the United Methodist Church.  I was particularly interested in the final verse which seldom makes it into a Christmas Lovefeast. Indeed, I did not know of its existence, though it might have been in our old Black Hymnal from 1940 (or thereabouts).

Sinners, wrung with true repentance,
Doomed for guilt to endless pains,
Justice now revokes your sentence,
Mercy calls you; break your chains . . .

I love that appeal to all sinners, which means all of us, “Justice now revokes your sentence, Mercy calls you; break your chains!” That message is for everyone, and especially for some.

The Pastor




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Isaiah 40:1-11, Mark 1:1-8, 2 Peter 3:8-15a

Today our theme is “Peace.” The word “peace” is used 246 times in the Hebrew Bible, our Old Testament, and 86 times in the New Testament.

In the Bible, peace is sometimes peace between nations, and peoples, and individuals, too. Sometimes it is the peace between God and humankind. And sometimes, it is the peace that God’s people possess internally, even when the world at large is going to hell in a handbag. Continue reading

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