Tag Archive for Christmas

Christmas message from the Pastor


There’s a great conversation in “A Charlie Brown Christmas” between Charlie Brown and Linus as they’re walking to the skating pond. It goes like this:

Charlie Brown says:

I think there must be something wrong with me, Linus. Christmas is

coming, but I’m not happy. I don’t feel the way I’m supposed to feel.

I just don’t understand Christmas, I guess. I like getting presents

and sending Christmas cards and decorating trees and all that, but

 I’m still not happy. I always end up feeling depressed.

And then Linus responds:

Charlie Brown, you’re the only person I know who can take a

wonderful season like Christmas and turn it into a problem.

Maybe Lucy’s right. Of all the Charlie Browns in the world, you’re

the Charlie Browniest.

What about you? Are you feeling the way you’re supposed to feel at Christmas? Are you a Charlie Brown?  It can be hard this Christmas.  There is still a pandemic and flu and RSV and whatever else floating in the air.  There are so many people who are grieving this year.  You may feel overwhelmed and exhausted.  You may like Christmas, but not all the extra work and preparations that go into it.  You might be feeling depressed.  Our country is still divided.  A recent election proves this.  And materialism seems to be yet the calling card of another Christmas.  It may feel like singing “Joy to the World” is just another burden.

But I know and you know, too, that the message of Christmas is “good news of great joy.” Christ the Savior is born!  God comes to us while we are in darkness.  God comes while the world is in utter darkness.  Let’s face it, Mary and Joseph didn’t exactly have it easy– riding on a donkey or walking all the way to Nazareth while about to give birth, finding no room to rest, and then giving birth in a manger filled with hay in the dark of night.  How depressing must that have been?

And yet the night sky was filled with stars.  Angels sang God’s glory.  Shepherds came from the fields to visit this little baby.  And somehow Mary and Joseph knew in their hearts that this was “good news of great joy.”  Christ the Savior was born!

Even in the darkness, somehow we know the joy that Christ is born.  In the depression, somehow we know the hope that Christ is born.  In the turmoil, we know the peace that Christ is born.  In the midst violence and pain, we know the love that Christ is born. 

So search deep this Christmas.  Look deep inside.  For in your hearts, Christ is born.  It is “good news of great joy.”

Lessons and Carols

A service from the New England Annual Conference. Our worship for Sunday, December 26th.

Christmas Eve – Nine Lessons and Carols

We hope you find this evening’s service a way to bring your heart into Christmas this season. Listen as we explore the Christmas story through scripture and song!

Festival of Lessons and Carols

Lessons and carolsOur choir will present another beautiful Festival of Lessons and Carols on Sunday, December 13th at 2:00.  Lessons and Carols celebrates the Christmas story in nine short scripture readings interspersed with Christmas carols and choral music.  Mark your calendar now so you don’t forget this special, free event. Please invite your friends and relatives for an hour of spirit filled, seasonal music and readings followed by refreshments in Fellowship Hall.

Hope’s Annual Nine Lessons and Carols, Dec., 14th, 2pm

We welcome you to the Hope United Methodist Church’s Annual Festival of Lessons and Carols, a program of scriptures and music, which is based on a service first held at King’s College, Cambridge, England, on Christmas Eve in 1918.   A revision of the Order of Service was made in 1919, involving rearrangement of the lessons. The backbone of the service, the lessons and the prayers, has remained virtually unchanged since then. The carols do change every year, although the service has always begun with the hymn Once in Royal David’s City, and closes with congregational singing of O Come All Ye Faithful and Hark the Herald Angels Sing.  Interest in the service grew in the 1930s, when the BBC began broadcasting this Christmas Eve service, a tradition that continues to this day. Many churches have adapted the service for their own use, and “Lessons and Carols” continue to be celebrated around the world.

The nine lessons we hear today are from the New International Version Bible.  The carols comprise a mixture of familiar and new settings of traditional and ancient hymns. We invite you to join in singing of the hymns that are noted in this program.  A Hope tradition is to end our service with the Hallelujah Chorus. If you’d like to sing with us, please join the choir at the front of the sanctuary during the singing of Hark the Herald Angels, and music will be provided.



1st Sunday of Advent, 2014!

The sanctuary was festooned in greenery, the choir was ready with their first Advent anthem.  The excitement of Advent has come to Hope.  Children lighting the candle of Hope, we even had a baptism!   What a wonderful start to a special time in the Church.