The “Joy of Heaven” Advent sermon series begins Sunday at College First Church of God. Lead Pastor the Rev. Brandon Kelly will speak at all three worship services with the sermon “Joy in the Unexpected,” based on Luke 1:5-25, as the birth of John the Baptist is foretold. Traditional/blended worship is at 9 and 11 a.m. in the sanctuary, 1100 N. Main St., and the contemporary service starts at 10 a.m. in the Winebrenner auditorium, 950 N. Main St. The first candle in the Advent wreath will be lit and the celebration of Holy Communion will take place at all services. An Advent vespers service is planned at 7 p.m. in the sanctuary. Youth in grades six to 12 are invited to gather at 5:30 p.m. Sunday for dinner and games prior to the vespers service. Families with children ages 3 to fifth grade are invited to a family dinner at 5:45 p.m. Wednesday in the fellowship hall, featuring breakfast for dinner. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org by Sunday. After dinner, children are welcome to join in the Kids Club activities and children’s choir. The Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Collection Station received 3,766 boxes this year.
First Lutheran Church, 109 E. Lincoln St., will celebrate the beginning of Advent with the lighting of the first candle in the Advent wreath at both the 8:15 and 10:45 a.m. Sunday services. Special music will be provided by the senior choir during the second service. Parishioners are invited to bring Christmas cards for families of detainees at the border, a project sponsored by the social ministry team for the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services, and must turn them in by Sunday. The church will host this week’s community dinner from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. with a menu of barbecued pulled pork sandwiches, baked beans, potato chips, fresh fruit, homemade salads and dessert. Afterward, parishioners will sing Christmas carols for homebound church members. The book club will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday to choose the 2020 selections.
First Presbyterian Church, 2330 S. Main St., will begin the Advent season Sunday with the theme “Enter the Songs.” The celebration begins with the Song of Zechariah, which will be the subject of both the Rev. Jessie Commeret’s sermon and a post-sermon discussion at 10:45 a.m. in the fellowship hall. Additional information about holiday services is available online or by calling 419-423-2112.
Immanuel Lutheran Church, 2300 Northridge Road, will host an Advent service of lessons and carols at 7 p.m. Wednesday. Christmas for Kids will be held from 1-4 p.m. Dec. 7, offering songs, crafts, snacks and the Christmas story for children ages 4 through sixth grade. Sign up for this free event by Wednesday at www.immanuelfindlay.org or 419-422-8209.
PANDORA — The Christmas cantata “Shout the Good News,” written by Lloyd Larson, will be presented during the 9:30 a.m. Dec. 8 worship service at Pandora United Methodist Church, 108 E. Washington St. The choir is directed by Pat Basinger and accompanied by Pat Michel. Refreshments will be served afterward in the fellowship hall.
Riley Creek UM
OTTAWA — Riley Creek United Methodist Church, 7102 County Road M, Ottawa, will host its 47th annual Christmas Carol Sing at 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Like an old-fashioned songfest around the piano, the program will feature congregational singing of many traditional carols, as well as readings from Scripture about Jesus’ birth, special performances by the Pandora United Methodist Church Choir, Ottawa Sts. Peter and Paul Choir, other musicians and a candle lighting ceremony. An open house highlighting the church’s newly completed addition, which includes restrooms, a kitchenette and a fellowship hall, will be held from 6-7:15 p.m.
St. Andrew’s UM
“Heaven and Nature Sing: 300 Years of Joy to the World” will be the worship theme throughout the season of Advent at St. Andrew’s United Methodist Church, 120 W. Sandusky St. This week’s message focuses on “Hopeful Joy,” based on Isaiah 2:1-5 and Romans 13:11-14. Worship services are offered at 9 and 11:15 a.m. and are livestreamed at www.saumcfindlay.org and the church’s Facebook page. Listen at 9 a.m. on WFIN.
St. John’s Lutheran
St. John’s Lutheran Church, 1701 Tiffin Ave., will host an All-Together Sunday service at 9:30 a.m. this week to mark the first Sunday of Advent. Worshippers are invited to stay for an old-fashioned Christmas morning, which will start with brunch and continue in the lounge with a white elephant gift exchange.
Trinity Lutheran Church, 935 W. Bigelow Ave., will celebrate the beginning of Advent at 5 p.m. today and at the 9 a.m. Sunday service. The senior choir anthem is “Waiting for the Promise.” This month, the loose change and bills collected through the Children’s Message will benefit Lutheran Social Services. Wednesday Advent services begin at 7 p.m. this week, using Holden Evening Prayer.
Trinity Lutheran, Jenera
JENERA — Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, 301 N. Main St., Jenera, will hold three mid-week Advent services, beginning at 7 p.m. Wednesday. This week’s service will focus on “Jesus Visits Us.” The Rev. Al Schmitzer will tell how Jesus brings His own gifts to prepare us for His return and how we can prepare others for His return based on 1 John 4. The choir will sing “Night of the Father’s Love.” A free spaghetti supper will be served from 5:30-6:30 before the service. The church is handicap accessible.
The Unitarian Universalist Church, 2415 N. Main St., will celebrate the first Sunday of the Christmas season at 10 a.m. Sunday. The morning’s message will be a TED talk from Andrew Solomon on “Love, No Matter What.” Solomon is a writer, lecturer and professor, and an activist for LGBTQ rights, mental health, education and the arts. In this 2013 video, he shares what he learned from talking to dozens of parents on what’s the line between unconditional love and unconditional acceptance? Readings from Sue Monk Kidd, Gary Kowalski and Barbara Cawford Crafton will illustrate three different pictures of love. The morning’s program is part of the process of renewing the congregation’s commitment to being a welcoming congregation.