In Advent, God’s people wait with hope for the birth of Jesus, God’s anointed one. Advent lasts for four Sundays (and the weeks between them); lighting candles helps us mark the time as we get ready for the Light of World, Jesus Christ. Great memories can be formed as candles on a wreath are lit, scripture is read, and the hopeful anticipation of Christ’s coming is celebrated. You are invited to pick up Advent devotions displayed in the narthex (gathering space) for you/your family to use during this holy season.
All are invited to mark days of anticipation and hope during the season of advent each Sunday morning at 8:30 and 11:00am worship. Our theme this Advent will be “Everlasting Light.” We will use a new liturgy, light candles on the wreath, and hear the stories of the promise of the coming of Jesus. We’ll also have a station in the gathering area where you will be invited to name the ways in which you see God’s light in the world each week. We are looking forward to celebrating this season of hope together as we celebrate God’s greatest gift of love – Jesus Christ.
Chrismon Tree Decorating, Sunday, December 15, before each worship service
A Chrismon tree is a special tree adorned with symbols of Christianity in its earliest days, such as the Alpha and Omega and the fish. Newer symbols like a dove, Bible, rose, and cross and crown can also be used. All decorations and supplies will be provided.
Christmas Caroling, Sunday, December 8, 2-4pm
You are invited to share Christmas cheer! Meet at St. Philip. Then groups will head out and about in the Roanoke Valley. Please also bring some cookies to share with folks. Sign-up in the narthex if you plan to join the fun!
Children’s Christmas Program
The children of St. Philip will share the Christmas story at the 5:30pm Christmas Eve worship service. Rehearsals for the children’s Christmas program are each Sunday at 9:50am, now through December 22.
Christmas Eve, you have two opportunities for worship:
5:30pm – Candlelight service and youth program
9:00pm – Traditional candlelight service
Holy Communion will be served at both services.
Morning Worship the First Sunday after Christmas (Lessons and Carols)
Do not miss a wonderful worship of Lessons and Carols the Sunday after Christmas, December 29th. Jesus story is told both by scripture and many timeless hymns of the Christmas season. We will have one worship service at 9:30am.
St. Philip’s mission together as disciples is to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ to the world. Pastors David and Laura are so excited to launch a new ministry at St. Philip to do just that! On Wednesday, January 8th at 7pm, we are going to launch a new Digital Worship service. The digital worship service will be a recording of Sunday worship service in an online interactive online format. Pastor Laura and Pastor David will host a chat for faith conversation and answer prayer requests as viewers converse and worship together.
This ministry is specifically intended for those who are not yet a part of the St. Philip community, but all are welcome to join. As we share advertisements for this service, please feel free to invite people you think might enjoy this kind of worship format. The pastors are so grateful for new opportunities to share God’s love and can’t wait to see what happens next!
Spring Faith Formation
Learning more about God and the life of faith together is an important part of what it means to be the church. We are excited to share new opportunities for both children and adults:
· Pastor David will be lead our Adult Forum
· Pastor Laura will lead Faith Formation for our children (preschool -5th grade) as they have fun, explore faith, and learn stories about God’s love.
This new schedule begins on January 12! Please mark your calendars and join in this important time for fellowship, learning, and growing in the faith!
Adult Faith Formation
Through December 22, Pastor Laura will host an adult forum in the Library on Sundays at 10am! We will utilize a curriculum called The Wired Word and engage in current event stories from a faith perspective. We’re called to live lives centered on the Gospel in a complex world, come join our discussion as we discuss how Jesus calls us to “Live Like that” in the world!
Monday Morning Bible Study Bible Study
Mondays 9:30-10:30am. Study the scriptures you will hear the following Sunday morning. This is a great way for you to come to Sunday morning worship ready to be engaged with the word as the story is told. If you have not been a part of the Bible study crew, now is the time to try it out! The crew meets in the church library.
NEW THIS YEAR: If you would love to join the Monday morning bible study, but can’t make it to the church, you are invited to participate from wherever you are using your computer, tablet, or smartphone via Zoom Videoconferencing using this link: https://zoom.us/j/181894145
Zoom is free for you to use and requires no download. The link to join the bible study remotely will also be posted on the website, Facebook page, and emailed to participants. Speak with one of the pastors if you have interest in connecting this way.
Faith Formation for Children
Through December 22, all children preschool age to 5th grade are encouraged to participate in Christmas Pageant practice and learn in a new way the story of Jesus’ birth.
Cross Generational Faith Formation Coming Again in January!
“In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, ‘Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.’” Matthew 2:1-2
“Praise [God], sun and moon; praise him, all you shining stars!”
Have you ever wondered if chalk, water, and evergreens can be mixed? Do you fancy yourself a code decipherer – what then do you think 20 + C M B + 20 could mean? Be sure to plan to be a part of a cross generational faith formation experience on Sunday, January 5th at 10am in the St. Philip fellowship hall. This event is for absolutely everyone from age 1 to 100.
Pastor Laura will begin her ministry as Associate Pastor at St. Philip beginning on Monday, August 12. Feel free to stop by the church office during the week of the 12th to greet and welcome her to this community of faith. Pastor Laura’s first Sunday in worship will be August 18th and will again be an opportunity to introduce yourself.
This truly is an exciting time at St. Philip as we seek to answer God’s call to live like Christ – to live like that. Ask questions, make suggestions, practice hospitality, and pray without ceasing knowing that God’s got us and will guide possibilities into the future.
More exciting news about Pastor Laura’s new journey with St. Philip, including ordination and installation invitation can be found in this special edition of The St. Philip Invitation.
Greetings St. Philip family!
On behalf of the search team, I would like to invite each of you to an open forum on Sunday, June 30th, after 9:30 worship. This will be an opportunity for the congregation to hear from the search team and church council about the candidate we are hoping will become our new staff person at St. Philip!
The search team has identified a first call rostered minister (i.e., a new seminary graduate) as our primary candidate for the open staff position. This candidate will be visiting St. Philip on Sunday, July 14 to preach at worship and meet congregation members. Please mark your calendars and make every effort to be in worship this date to meet our candidate.
As you may recall, the congregation, council, and search team went through a very intentional process to discuss and decide upon the type of candidate we hoped for, and the skills and strengths needed to complement Pastor David and current staff. We cast a wide net in advertising the position to both rostered and lay candidates, and the search team selected four people to interview from approximately 25 lay applicants and three recommendations from the synod. We were pleased with each of the applicants invited to interview.
As the process of resume review and candidate interviews unfolded, it became more evident to the search team that a rostered candidate would be best suited to help St. Philip continue to grow ministry together. It amazed us to see how the Holy Spirit not only guided us in discerning the best direction, but led us to a candidate who “checks all the boxes” of the qualities and strengths we are looking for. We are excited!
The open forum on June 30 will provide an opportunity prior to the primary candidate’s visit for congregation members to ask any questions about the search process, how we arrived at our recommendation, and the steps that lie ahead. Please plan to come and bring your questions.
On behalf of the St Philip search team