Open Hearts. Open Minds. Open Doors.
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The Order of Worship bulletin can be found here.
3rd Sunday of Advent
Sunday, December 10, 2023
"Being Present with Joy"
Rev. Debra Brady, presiding
Isaiah 61:1-4, Psalm 126:1-3 & Luke 1:41-55 (Inclusive)
The words of the prophet Isaiah offer a prophetic vision that Jesus will also claim in his ministry. Likewise, we are called to proclaim the gift of being fully present with all people — those who mourn, those who grieve, and those who have suffered indignity and oppression. Mary's Magnificat is prophetic as well. She claims the overturning of injustice even before it has come to pass. Joy is not the equivalent of happiness but rather the deep conviction that we are called to be present in the work of bringing about "great things" — a better world for those who need it most.
For those worshiping online, we invite you to have a candle nearby and something to light it with and join us as we light the candle of Joy.
Advent Christmas Sermon Series
Like a shepherd, you feed your flock, gathering the lambs and holding them close, and leading mother ewes with gentleness. — Isaiah 40:11, The Inclusive Bible
Advent can be filled with worry about finding the perfect Christmas gifts. Deep down, we want people in our lives to know they are special and that we love them. But sometimes, we overlook the greatest gift of all… our very presence. Our spiritual ancestors were also worried — often about survival amid political occupation. And the response of the scriptures is, “The Holy Living One is with you.” Like a shepherd who never leaves the flock, we are held close.
This season, we are invited to be the gift of presence for our loved ones, our communities, and those who need it most.
Children's Sunday School Lesson for December 10, 2023
Matthew 1:18-24 | Faith Word: Joy
An angel came to Joseph in a dream to tell him that the child Mary was carrying came from the Holy Spirit and that Joseph should not be afraid. The child would be a son and his name would be Jesus. While Joseph was confused, he chose to listen to God’s message. By choosing God’s way, he found joy.
Press the play button to watch this week's Sunday school lesson.
Nursery Care & Children Sunday School Schedule
As United Methodists, we believe in welcoming and nurturing the children in our church family. We offer Nursery Care and Children's Sunday School during Sunday worship.
For information on our Children and Youth Ministries and activities, please contact the church office at
(209) 522-9046 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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News & Events
Resources for the Advent Season
We invite you to spend this sacred time reflecting on Jesus, our model changemaker.
Enjoy a daily devotional email written by changemakers from across the country.
Right Here, Right Now - The Practice of Christian Mindfulness
by Dr. Amy G. Oden
This book is available wherever you buy books or on Cokesbury here.
Availability: The Challenge and Gift of Being Present
by Robert J. Wicks
This book is available wherever you buy books or on Christianbook here.
Click here to reflect on Jesus, our model changemaker to receive a daily devotional email written by changemakers across the country.
Blue Christmas Service
Tuesday, December 12 | FUMC Chapel | 7:00 p.m.
Join us in the Chapel to support those of us who are struggling with the Christmas season. Many people experience nostalgia, grief, loneliness, depression, and despair and find it challenging to take joy in the holiday spirit. Keeping our feelings to ourselves only heightens our sense of isolation. If you struggle this season, you will find our Blue Christmas Service a meaningful experience. It will be a contemplative service where we can be authentic before God with all we are and feel this season.
Over Lunch Fellowship
Thursday, December 14 | The Secret Garden | 11:45 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Over Lunch is an informal fellowship group where folks can meet to share some time together and have great conversations. This group meets monthly for a no-host lunch at The Secret Garden Restaurant, 2401 E. Orangeburg, Modesto. Please RSVP to Claudia Williams or contact her with any questions at email@example.com.
Whether you’re new to First United Methodist Church or have been a part of our faith community for many years, sometimes simply enjoying lunch together is time well spent!
Contact the church office at (209) 522-9046 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more event information.