Celebrate the season of Advent
A miraculous star shining above a baby in a manger, visited by shepherds and wise men, proclaimed by angels. This is the story of the first Christmas, of the birth of Jesus Christ. We invite you to come and experience the wonder of this story afresh and anew and celebrate the hope it brings to the world.
Sharing the Story of Christmas │ Adult Sunday School Class
Sundays, December 1, 15, and 22, 10 a.m. in the Chapel, led by Dr. Michael Graves
In this series celebrating the joyous and wondrous season of Advent, we will explore the stories of those in Scripture who experienced the first Christmas. We will learn about the world in which they lived and the special role each played in this amazing event. Above all, we will reflect together on how their stories intersect with the stories God is telling through our lives today.
December 1: The Story of Mary (Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-56)
December 15: The Story of the Magi (Matthew 2:1-12)
December 22: The Story of Jesus (Matthew 1:1-17; John 1:1-18)
Gary Prepares for Christmas Sharing
Sunday, December 8, 10 a.m. throughout Gary Church
The people of Gary Church, from the very youngest to the oldest, will come together to prepare for Christmas Sharing—an outreach that calls us to love our neighbor and to be a voice of hope and faith. All ages will have the opportunity to serve and make a difference.
Lessons and Carols: Sharing the Story of Christmas
Sunday, December 8, 9 and 11 a.m. worship services
The story of Christmas, the birth of God’s Son, is a centerpiece of the Bible. Our Lessons and Carols service draws upon stories from The Jesus Storybook Bible, by Sally Lloyd-Jones. We invite you to hear excerpts from this winsome book, sing traditional carols, and hear musical offerings from our vocal choirs and bell ensembles. All ages will enjoy a rich retelling of the salvation story, as we prepare our hearts for the season of Christ’s birth!
FOLLOW THE STAR: A Gary Kids 10 a.m. Sunday School Series
It’s the time of year when Christmas decorations begin to fill our homes. From the twinkling lights, to the sparkling stars, to the glittering snow, there is light all around us! The very first Christmas didn’t have Christmas trees or ornaments, but it did have something special: light! Just like a star in the sky led the wisemen to Jesus on the very first Christmas, today our Christmas lights remind us to continue looking toward Jesus, the one we celebrate each Christmas. In this Christmas series, kids will discover the many ways God gets our attention and guides us toward him: through his direction, through other people, through our Savior, and through the hope Jesus has given us.
GARY KIDS FAMILY AND GARY YOUTH EVENTS
A Gingerbread Christmas
Sunday, December 1, 10 a.m. in Gamon Hall
During the busyness of the season, it’s important for families to come together to have fun while learning about the true meaning of Christmas. That’s why, on the first Sunday of Advent, we are offering this special event where families can play games, make gingerbread houses, and learn how God wants to make his home in us!
4th & 5th Grade Fellowship: Christmas Sharing
Tuesday, December 10, 6–8 p.m. in the Lower Level Lobby
Join us as we help sort new toys for Christmas Sharing at Gary Church.
Christmas Pageant Rehearsal │4 p.m. Christmas Eve Family Service
Sundays, December 15 and 22, 2–4 p.m.
Gary Kids ages Preschool 3–Grade 5 are invited to take part in the classic retelling of the Christmas Story at our Christmas Eve Family Worship Service. There’s no better way for kids to understand the Christmas story than to participate in it. The multi-sensory elements are powerful for children. Plus, three-year-olds in angel costumes and grade-school shepherds are just plain adorable. Come be part of these rehearsals that will prepare us for a special Christmas Eve presentation.
UNWRAPPED: A Gary Youth Series on Christmas
High School Sunday Nights, December 1 and 8
Midweek for Middle Schoolers, Wednesdays, December 4 and 11
7–8:30 p.m. in the Activity Center
When you think of Christmas, you probably think about an event—an event that is (hopefully) filled with gifts, food, family, and fun. But what happens when that event isn’t as joyful or peaceful as we wish it were? And is the “event” even what Christmas is about anyway? In this series, we’ll discover what this season is truly about.
Middle school students will also help with Christmas Sharing during Midweek on December 11.
Gary Youth Christmas Party
Sunday, December 15, 5–7 p.m. at the Austin’s house
Middle and high school students are invited to our annual White Elephant Christmas party. Join us for a time of Christmas cheer!
Here We Come A-Caroling!
Sunday, December 15, 3–5 p.m.
Everyone is invited to sing Christmas carols for a few homebound members of our Gary Church family! No need to sign up or rehearse. Just gather on Sunday, December 15 at 3 p.m. We will meet in the Sanctuary, warm up our voices, discuss our route, and hop into our sleighs, errr, cars! We will be back at the church building by 5 p.m.
Christmas with the Elizabethans
Monday, December 16, 7:30 p.m. at Gary Church
Enjoy the holiday season with The Elizabethans. This madrigal group performs in traditional Elizabethan dress and sings both sacred and secular Christmas music. This annual event is sponsored by the United Methodist Women. Join us for refreshments in the Commons after the 45-minute program. Invite your friends and family; all are welcome! Donations of small knitted items (gloves, hats, scarves) will be collected for People’s Resource Center.
ADVENT MISSION OPPORTUNITIES
Heifer Project Alternative Gift Program
Sundays, December 1, 15, 22, 10 a.m.
Donate an animal in honor of a friend or loved one and help families around the world to become self-sufficient. Look for the table in the Commons to make your donation and receive a card for the recipient of your gift.
Christmas Sharing Preparation
Be part of one of our largest mission projects as we come together, along with seven other Wheaton churches, to serve the needs of over 850 families with children in Wheaton/Warrenville District 200. Volunteer your time and/or donate some of the many needed items. Details and sign-up sheets are available in the Commons.
Outreach Community Center’s Senior Christmas Luncheon
Friday, December 20
Brighten the Christmas season of the seniors served by the Outreach Community Ministries Older Adults program by volunteering or making a donation toward their annual Christmas luncheon. For many of the 150 low-income seniors expected to be served, this will be their only holiday celebration. See the display in the Commons for details.
ADVENT WORSHIP SERVICES
The Longest Night Service
Tuesday, December 17, 7 p.m. in the Commons
This quiet, meditative worship service makes time for remembering, sharing our hurting places with God, and preparing our hearts for the coming of Christ in the midst of a season full of celebration and activity. If you or someone you know is struggling to feel the joy of the season or could use time to step aside from the hurried pace to remember departed loved ones, please join us for this special evening of worship.
Christmas Eve Candlelight Services
Tuesday, December 24
4 p.m. | Family Worship and Christmas Pageant
6 p.m. | Traditional Worship at Winfield Church
7 p.m. | Traditional Worship with music from the Chancel Choir
10 p.m. | Traditional Worship and Holy Communion with music from soloists and instrumentalists