Monday Devotional
November 13, 2023
Dear Friend,
As a child, I always liked the question, “What do you want for Christmas?” I had plenty of suggestions. My siblings and I would take the Sears catalog and circle the things we wanted. Along with the circled items, we would always say, “And some surprises.” I suspect that was our way of covering all our bases. If there was anything we forgot to circle in the catalog, feel free to get that as well!
As an adult, that question of what I want for Christmas became more difficult. I really don’t want anything. When asked to provide a Christmas suggestion list, I would usually name some cd’s and some books that I wanted. There might be some clothes with sizes included. Handmade items are always nice. Beyond that there is not much I want or need.
But one year, I listed something that I truly wanted. Early in my ministry, I had a nice black preaching robe. But I also wanted a white one. So, I put a white robe on my Christmas list.
On Christmas morning, there was a large box under the tree with my name on it. I opened the gift to find a nice white robe. Terry cloth. A bath robe, not a preaching robe. I responded with gratitude. “Oooh, how warm! And so soft!”

I was always tempted to wear that robe on a Sunday morning. I even thought Matthew 6:26 would make a great text, “Take no thought to what you shall wear.” But I never did. I wore the robe proudly at home for many years, always smiling when I put it on thinking to myself, “You asked for a white robe…and you got a white robe.”

I wonder whether on that first Christmas morning, there were folks who looked into a manger only to find what they never expected to find. A baby. A sign of God’s love. A surprise that would cause the whole world to smile with joy. Sometimes surprises can be a great gift.

Upcoming Activities
Weekday Bible Study
The Tuesday evening Bible Study concludes this week at 6:30 p.m. in the Blue Room.
Canned Good Collection
During the month of November, we are collecting canned fruit to donate to Love Chapel. You can bring your donations to church during the week or on Sunday morning. We have a goal of 1500 cans.
Pledge Drive
We are in the midst of our annual pledge drive for our 2024 budget. Please take a moment to fill out your pledge card and mail it or bring it to the church. If you would like to move to automatic withdrawal, please contact our Business Administrator, Daron Thayer, and he can set this up for you.
Advent Bible Study
Starting Monday November 27, Pastor Harriet will offer a four-week Bible study on The Characters of Christmas. The class will meet on Mondays in the church library at 11:00 a.m. There will also be an online option held on Tuesdays at 6:00 via zoom. Please contact Pastor Harriet if you plan to attend either option to get materials in advance.
Advent Open House
The Historical Society has organized an open house for downtown churches on Friday December 1st from 5:30-8:00 p.m. First UMC will be one of the churches on display. Tickets are $15 per person. You can purchase tickets the day of the event or at the Historical Society, Viewpoint Books or the Visitor’s Center.
Santa’s Workshop
We are delighted to welcome the return of Santa’s Workshop on Saturday December 2nd. Santa’s workshop is a hands-on event where children of all ages can make crafts and other items for the holiday season. The event will be held from 10:30 – 1:00 p.m. There will also be a special, sensory friendly time from 9:00-10:00 a.m. How can you help? Invite your friends and neighbors. Bring your children or grandchildren. Volunteers are still needed and can assist by contacting Shana Dublan at
Advent Devotional
During the season of Advent, we invite you to read Kate Bowler’s devotional entitled, “Bless the Advent We Actually Have.” The devotion is free of charge and can be downloaded on her website at The Sunday devotions will be the basis for Rev. Boles’ Sunday School class at 9:00 a.m. in the Multi-Purpose Room.
Upcoming Events
December 8 Kid’s Night Out
December 13 The Longest Night service
December 14 Blood Drive