There is something beautiful and mysterious about Advent, but there is, at the same time, something unsettling, darkly anxious, and almost threatening about it. The Advent mood is hard to put into words. It is often captured better by its hymns, which are brooding and sung in a minor key. The scripture lessons for Advent set the tone with their continued prophetic calls for repentance, the dire warnings to “wait and watch,” the urgency of preparation for what is coming. We hear about those who are unprepared for God, tenants who are surprised by the sudden appearance of their long-absent landlord, sleepy bridesmaids waiting with their empty oil-lamps for the bridegroom to come. In short, it’s an expectant season, a season of being primed and pumped, and there is a nervous edge to the waiting.

But the Advent mood undergoes a dramatic change this week, on this Third Sunday of Advent. The lessons lose their menace and begin to dance a bit. Suddenly, the warnings turn into promises of hope and expectations of something astounding. We hear of deserts blossoming, the seas exulting, and the trees of the field clapping their hands, so that if there were one word to capture the new mood it would have to be JOY! Traditionally this Third Sunday of Advent is called Gaudete Sunday, from the Latin for joy, and it is a day for great rejoicing. Join us this week at Sedona UMC as the Rev. Fred Mast delivers a sermon entitled “Rejoice, Rejoice” a day of great “joy” and expectations.

Sunday mornings we enter the spirit of worship at 9:30 am featuring joyful music, special times of prayer and passionate life changing messages designed to move you closer in your relationship with Jesus Christ and others. Stay and join us Sunday right after worship in our fabulous Fellowship Hall for our “Annual Christmas Open House” which will feature the “12 Soups of Christmas”, rolls, desserts and beverages. There will be singing and maybe even some dancing! It’s a great opportunity to get to gather as community sharing the true spirit of Christmas through fellowship—come and make some new friends. These are the friendliest folks and best fellowship you will find anywhere!

You and your families are invited to our “Christmas Eve” worship services which will be held Sunday, December 24th at 9:30 am and also at 6:00 PM. These services will feature Lessons, Carols, Candlelight (at 6:00 PM), and Communion and are great for families with children. Come and hear the story of Christ’s birth and celebrate with us the true reason for the season, finding the Hope, Love, Joy, and Peace that came in into the world through a precious little baby boy born in a manger in Bethlehem on that Christmas so long ago. As your special gift to a special friend, consider inviting, picking them up, and bringing them along with you to this wonderful celebration. Cookies and beverages will follow both services.

We offer a number of book and bible studies—So many great missions, ministries and events happening at Sedona United Methodist Church—Visit our website at and Like us on Facebook. We would love to pray for you!—Prayer requests may be submitted online or by calling us at 928-282-1780. We are conveniently located at 110 Indian Cliffs Road off the Back O’Beyond roundabout on Route 179 in Sedona. Come and grow with us!