Faithful: A Journey to Christmas
Celebrate the Season
Advent is a time of anticipation as we journey through the weeks leading up to Christmas, a time to focus our hearts and minds and to remember the stories of our faith. We invite you to join us on this journey as we prepare to celebrate God’s wonderful gift of love to the world.
Worship and Study
Faithful: Christmas Through the Eyes of Joseph
All-church study on November 26, Dec 10 and 17, 10:00 a.m. Adults in the Chapel, led by Rev. JoAnne Chase Children and Youth in their regular Sunday School class locations
In this study, with material appropriate for each age group, Adam Hamilton examines Christmas through the eyes of Joseph, the humble carpenter and earthly father of Jesus. Absent from much of the biblical narrative, Joseph never spoke a word, but his courageous actions were crucial to the birth of Christ and God's salvation plan for humanity. Joseph provides us a great example of humbly obeying God even when we don't understand and faithfully moving forward in the strength that God provides. Come explore the valuable lessons that Joseph’s place in the nativity story contains for all of us.
Gary Prepares for Christmas Sharing
December 3, 10:00 a.m. throughout Gary Church
The people of Gary Church, from the very youngest to the very 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: "The Tree of Life"
December 10, 9:00 & 11:00 a.m. worship
What do you think of when you look at your Christmas tree? In addition to happy memories and the warmth of home and loved ones, we hope that your Christmas tree will remind you of the story of redemption. In keeping with Gary's theme "Rooted in Trust," our Lessons and Carols service traces the image of trees from the Tree of Knowledge in Genesis to the Tree of Life in Revelation. Our handbells, vocal choirs, readers, and instruments bring their gifts to create a meaningful family worship experience. Please join us for this special celebration to prepare our hearts for the season of Christmas!
Caroling in the Commons
December 24, 10:00 a.m.
We will join our voices and sing our favorite Christmas hymns—songs of faith that speak to our hearts as we celebrate the miracle of Christ’s birth.
Advent Wreath Creations
Children are invited to create their own fragrant Advent wreath to be enjoyed at home throughout the season. Families can mark each Sunday by reading the Advent Wreath Devotion, featured in the Gary Kids This Week email, and lighting the candles of hope, love, joy, and peace.
Illustrating Christmas | A Time of Preparation for the Christmas Eve Family Worship Service
How long was the journey to Bethlehem? What did the manger look like? How bright was the star over the city of David? Through a variety of creative media, children will explore the Christmas story and illustrate it from their own unique perspectives. These images will be featured in the 4:00 p.m. Christmas Eve Family Worship Service. For those not able to attend, a make-up session will be offered December 10 at 11:00 a.m.
A Shepherd’s Tale
Come hear the Christmas Story from the shepherds’ perspective and learn that Jesus came for us even when we feel like nobodies.
Happy Birthday, Jesus!
It’s a birthday party for baby Jesus! Join us as we celebrate the birth of the Christ child.
Gary Kids Family and Gary Youth Events
Drop & Shop
Saturday, December 2, 9:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
Children age 6 months–Grade 5 are welcome to join us for games and activities while you finish up your holiday shopping! Space is limited. Reservations are required by November 26 and can be made through the Church Office. A $15 donation per family is suggested. Please note that some roads may be closed due to the Wheaton Park District’s Reindeer Run.)
4th & 5th Grade Fellowship | Christmas Sharing Service Project
Tuesday, December 5, 6:00–8:00 p.m. in the Lower Level Lobby
Join us as we help sort new toys for Christmas Sharing at Gary Church.
Family Fellowship Service Project
Wednesday, December 6, 5:30–7:30
It takes the whole week prior and lots of hands to set up for Christmas Sharing. Let's get together to help with this important outreach event. Kids age 5 and up can work with parents on sorting donated items, and we'll have childcare for those under 5. Come meet us in Gamon Hall anytime between 5:30–7:30 p.m. At 7:30, we'll go out for ice cream together. To request childcare, email
Gary Youth Christmas Party
Sunday, December 17, 4:00–6:00 p.m. at the Austin’s home
Our annual White Elephant Christmas party with Gary Youth is coming up! Middle and high school students are invited to join us at the Austin’s house for an afternoon of Elf-themed cheer!
UMW Christmas Market
Sunday, November 26, throughout the morning in the Commons
Gary’s United Methodist Women offer a large array of unique handmade crafts, knitted items, and baked goods. All proceeds of the sale go to missions that support women and children, a lovely consideration when selecting a special gift for a teacher, hostess, friend or family member.
Saturday, December 2, 5:00 p.m. at Winfield Community United Methodist Church
Begin the Advent season with an evening of praise music and worship featuring musicians from both Gary and Winfield Churches.
The Elizabethans Performance
Monday, December 11, 7:30 p.m. in the Sanctuary
Come enjoy an evening of Christmas madrigals and songs of the season with the Elizabethans. This popular women’s singing ensemble is dressed in authentic costumes of the era. Their annual musical performance is hosted by Gary’s United Methodist Women. An offering of knitted items (gloves, hats, or mittens) will be given to the People’s Resource Center.
Advent Mission Opportunities
Heifer Project Alternative Gift Program
December 3, 10, 17, 10:00 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 1000 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 15
Brighten the Christmas season of the seniors served by the Outreach Community Ministries Older Adults program by volunteering at 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.
Christmas Week Worship Services
The Longest Night Service
December 21, 7:00 p.m. in the Chapel
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.
Sunday, December 24
9:00 and 11:00 a.m. — Gary Church
10:30 a.m. — Winfield Church
Christmas Eve Worship
4:00 p.m.— Family Worship Service
6:00 p.m.— Traditional Candlelight Worship at Winfield Church
7:00 p.m. —Traditional Candlelight Worship with music from the Chancel Choir
10:00 p.m.—Traditional Candlelight Worship and Holy Communion with music from soloists and instrumentalists