Advent & Christmas events and resources

Events

Dec 2 3pm The.Best.Bedtime.Story.EVER

Dec 3 10am The.Best.Bedtime.Story.EVER

Dec 13 7pm GriefShare: Surviving the Holidays

Sundays at 10am Coming Home sermon series

  • Dec 10 Home for Christmas
  • Dec 17 Home for Christmas HELP!
  • Dec 24 Unwanted Gifts
  • Dec 31 No Place Like Home

Dec 24 5:45pm Christmas Eve

Resources

Be part of Mary & Joseph’s journey through Orillia #NoRoomAtTheInn

Advent reflections: Introduction | Hope | Peace | Joy | Love | 10,000 moments

advent devotional | PEACE

READ

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Coun­selor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this. (Isaiah 9:6-7 NIV)

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.  (John 14:27 NIV)

UNDERSTAND

Is there anything crazier than the Christmas season? The hustle and bustle of holiday shopping, family gatherings, church services, work parties, Christmas performances, and the general busyness that comes with the season. There’s just something about the Christmas season that seems to raise the collective blood pressure of the population, huh?

What’s interesting is that this frantic feeling of frenzy is the exact opposite of what this season is meant to be. While the rest of the world is pulling us toward presents, parties, and planning, Jesus is simply leading us toward peace.

In a world marked by tragedy, division, and corruption (sound familiar?), Jesus came to bring His long promised peace to the people. His birth permanently turned the page from pandemo­nium to peace, letting all of us know that even when everything around us feels crazy, we can still have peace. Lasting, eternal, deep rooted peace.

When chaos swirls around you this Advent season, choose peace. When you feel the stress of family dynamics or the tug of tension threatening to break you, choose peace. When you feel rushed and spread thin, choose peace. When you feel the pull toward perfection, choose peace. And when you feel the weight of weariness in this world, choose peace.

So as this Advent season marches on and we move closer and closer to Christmas, no matter what’s happening around you, cling to Jesus. Cling to the One who brings peace. Make His peace the banner over your Christmas season.

RESPOND

Questions for Discussion:

  • What is one thing that really stresses you or your family out during the holiday season?
  • What does peace look like to you?
  • How can you make a choice to let the peace of Christ permeate your holiday season?

PRAYER

God, you are the bringer of peace. You are the One who can sustain us when life feels chaotic. As Christmas approaches, help me to choose peace. Fill me with your peace and focus my eyes on You.

FAMILY TIME

Grab some pens, small pieces of paper, and your family! Have ev­eryone in your family write down on pieces of paper some things that really stress them out about the Christmas season. Have each person fold their answers up and put them in the middle of the table.

Before you take a look at their answers, read John 14:27 with your family. Talk together about what peace means to each one of you and how peace is possible in our lives because of Jesus.

Then, start going over the things each of your family members wrote on the pieces of paper. As you talk about the things that each of you said might be stressful this season, brainstorm ways you can instead choose peace.

reading the gospels | MATTHEW

This fall at OCC we are reading through the gospels
…one chapter a day, five days a week,
letting the gospels speak into our lives,
allowing the gospels to shape our thinking,
letting the gospels influence our actions…
so that’s God’s name is glorified and his kingdom is proclaimed.

We are moving into John on Monday, 11 December

Reading the Gospels matthew

Let me encourage you to post in the comments the verse that struck you the most & why

advent devotional | HOPE

READ

The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness, a light has dawned. (Isaiah 9:2 NIV)

UNDERSTAND

I don’t know about you, but I’ve never been good at waiting. I’ve never been good at not knowing what’s ahead. Looking forward to an unknown future with hope and excitement just doesn’t come naturally to me. I doubt it does to most.

That’s exactly what the people were facing before the birth of Christ. They’d been through so much—the good, the bad, and the unimaginably terrible—over the years. Floods and famine, war and wandering, slavery and suffering—these people endured it all, but always with the ever present hope of a Savior promised to come. They’d long been shrouded in darkness, waiting for a light to come.

But the darker the cloud, the brighter the sun that eventually shines through. And for them, that light to come was King Jesus. Though they waited in darkness, they did not wait without the hope of a Savior who was promised to come and shine an eternal light on their lives.

Waiting on God doesn’t exactly look the same for us as it did for them. We have the privilege of knowing how their story ends. The Savior they hoped for did finally come, and not just for them but for the whole entire world as well. For us. The waiting is still daunting, but we can wait with a fresh hope because we know the King has come.

I don’t know what kind of darkness you might be waiting under this Christmas season. I don’t know how heavy the cloud feels over your heart. But I do know this: for those living in deep dark­ness, a light has dawned. As we begin this Advent journey and look forward to celebrating the birth of the Savior who changes lives, do so with a fresh hope that the darkness will not win.

A light will break through.

RESPOND

Questions for Discussion:

  • What does waiting look like in your life?
  • How does the wait make you feel?
  • Do you struggle to look forward to the future with hope? Why or why not?
  • How can you remember the hope of Christ and the promise of the light to come this Advent season?

PRAYER

God, thank you that we don’t have to wait without hope in this life. We know that just as it was true for your people back then, the promise of a Savior is true for us today, too. Take the weight of darkness sitting heavy on our lives and replace it with the light of your hope this Advent season.

FAMILY TIME

At dinner one day this week, ask each member of your family to share one thing they’re hoping for and waiting for this Christmas. Depending on the ages of your children and family members, answers could include anything from gifts they hope to see under the tree, prayers they hope to see answered, or an experience they hope to have.

After everyone has shared, read Luke 2:1-20 (what we know as the Christmas story in the Bible) and talk as a family about how those people were waiting for something bigger than anything we could imagine that first Christmas. They were waiting for Jesus! Just as we have hopes for what we want to happen this Christmas season, the people then did, too.

Then, pray together as a family, asking God to help you remember to have hope this Christmas season.

advent devotional | introduction

A D V E N T 2 0 1 7

Born is the King

Advent is a season filled with expectation. It’s a time when we remember the world waiting for a coming Savior, and celebrate the way the world changed when Christ was born. It’s a season filled with the light and love of Jesus, the King, born to save us.

But if we’re being honest, it’s also a season filled with craziness. As Christmas approaches, the focus of Ad­vent sometimes gets lost amidst the chaos and busyness that comes with the holiday season.

So to help us focus our attention on the heart be­hind this season, we invite you to follow this four-week devotional guide as we walk through Advent. Each week focuses on a specific aspect reflected in the birth of King Jesus—hope, peace, joy, and love—the same 4 words we use as we light the Advent Candles

As you journey through this devotional, take time to think through the questions, spend time in prayer, and make time to participate in the activities that involve your family. Our prayer is that as you turn your eyes to the coming Savior this Christmas season, your hearts will be transformed as you remember the birth of the King who came to save us.

#noroomattheinn

Sign up at the Welcome Desk to have our Mary and Joseph figurines
stay at your home.

After their stay with you, your household will take Mary and Joseph to their next host home and enjoy some refreshments together.

That home will take them to the next home and enjoy some time together … and the cycle continues until the final family brings Mary and Joseph to church on Christmas Eve.

Sign up at the welcome at OCC

Don’t forget to take a picture or two and tag it with #noroomattheinn

Thank you | shoeboxes

Thank you to everyone who filled
an Operation Christmas Child shoebox
This year we filled 102 shoeboxes

advent…

…waiting 
…longing

The 1st Sunday of Advent is 3 December 2017.
Advent is about waiting.
It’s a bit of an odd thing,
since we know that Jesus has already come.

As John 1:14 MSG records
The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood.”

And we also know that while Jesus taught us to pray in Matthew 6:9-10 NLV
Father… may your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.”

But we know that God’s Kingdom has not yet come in its fullness Romans 8:22-25 MSG
All around us we observe a pregnant creation. The difficult times of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs. But it’s not only around us; it’s within us. The Spirit of God is arousing us within. We’re also feeling the birth pangs. These sterile and barren bodies of ours are yearning for full deliverance. That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don’t see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy.

Paul points us forward in 1 Thessalonians 5:23 NIV “May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

And so we wait, we long, we hope, we work, we serve, we proclaim, we live faithfully, now, while we wait.

Announcing by our presence and our words and our actions that the good news of Jesus has come and in coming.

 

 

reading the gospels | JOHN

This fall at OCC we are reading through the gospels
…one chapter a day, five days a week,
letting the gospels speak into our lives,
allowing the gospels to shape our thinking,
letting the gospels influence our actions…
so that’s God’s name is glorified and his kingdom is proclaimed.

We are moving into John on Monday, 13 November

Reading the Gospels john

Let me encourage you to post in the comments the verse that struck you the most & why