We are in the season of Advent, one of joyous expectation. In keeping with that spirit, many United Methodist churches in the California-Nevada Annual Conference will be looking toward Christmas with various events designed to extend hospitality to all. Among them: Concord (California) UMC, Lake Merritt UMC in Oakland, California, Point Pleasant UMC in Elk Grove, California, Middletown (California) Community UMC, and Pine UMC in San Francisco.
Friday and Saturday evenings, December 5, 6, 12, and 13 at 7 p.m., and Sunday afternoons, December 7 and 14 at 3 p.m., Middletown Community UMC in Middletown, California (Lake County) will celebrate its 15th Annual Renaissance Christmas Pageant and Feast. Tickets are pre-sale only and are $45 each. To purchase, or for more information, call Shari at 707-987-2653.
Saturday, December 6, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Point Pleasant UMC invites you to tour the new Worship Center and stock up on Christmas gifts and plenty of delectable edibles at the Country Crafts and Baked Goods Christmas Fair. From noon to 3 p.m., have your picture taken with Santa Claus, too; the professional photographs will be available for you to take home right away. Point Pleasant UMC is located at 3329 Point Pleasant Road, Elk Grove, CA 95757.
Saturday, December 6, Concord UMC in Concord, California will host members of the U.S. Marine Corps as part of the "Toys for Tots" drive. A military Humvee, parked in front of the Sanctuary, will be the drop-off point for donations of new toys from 6 to 7 p.m. Santa Claus will be at the church to meet children and pose for pictures. The church's annual Carol Sing will begin at 7 p.m. Concord UMC is located at 1645 West Street, Concord, CA 94521.
Sunday, December 7 at 12:30 p.m. (following the worship service), Pine UMC in San Francisco will have a casual tree trimming party. For more information about this or any Pine events, contact the church office at 415-387-1800 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The church is located at 426 33rd Ave., San Francisco, CA 94121.
Saturday, December 13, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Pine UMC in San Francisco will have a Christmas Joy Party to which the community is invited, featuring snacks, games, crafts, carols, and a visit from Santa.
Sunday, December 14 at 4 p.m., Lake Merritt UMC in Oakland will offer a musical mediation on three powerful seasonal themes—fire, angels, and peace—in "Voices in Peace VIII: Fire in the Air." The concert by Women's Vocal Ensemble (Voci) will feature Karin Rehnqvist's "To the Angel with Fiery Hands" and Daniel Pinkham's "Angels are Everywhere," along with works by Martha Alter, Hakan Olssen, Arvo Part, and Joan Szymko—with Miriam Kapner, oboe. Tickets are $20 for general admission, $17 for seniors, students, and groups. Children under 12 admitted free. Tickets available at the door or on line at vocisings.com/Calendar.php. Call 510-531-8714 for more information. The church is located at 1330 Lakeshore Avenue (First Avenue and 13th Street) in Oakland and an underground parking lot is accessible from Lakeshore. More information available at vocisings.com.
Sunday, December 21 at 10 a.m., at Concord UMC, the church's Community Orchestra and Chancel Choir will present the "Candlelight Christmas Cantata" by Benjamin Harkin as a worship service. Everyone is invited to attend this exciting worship celebration with full orchestra and 40-voice choir, under the direction of Douglas Emigh. It will truly inspire your heart and soul. Concord UMC is located at 1645 West Street, Concord, CA 94521. For more information call the church at 925-685-5260 or visit www.concordumc.org.
Sunday, December 21 at 11 a.m., Pine UMC Christmas Worship Service.
Wednesday, December 24 at 7 p.m., Pine UMC Christmas Eve Candlelight Service.
Instant Connection will feature more local church Advent and Christmas events in the days ahead.