Services in-person & online at 8:30 and 11:00am at Florida's Oldest United Methodist Church

Advent 2021

Click HERE to view Christmas Eve service times.

Season of Advent

The season of Advent, which comes from the Latin word adventus meaning “coming” or “visit,” begins four Sundays before Christmas and ends on Christmas Eve. Advent is the beginning of the liturgical year for Christians.

During Advent, we prepare for, and anticipate, the coming of Christ. We remember the longing of Jews for a Messiah and our own longing for, and need of, forgiveness, salvation and a new
beginning. Even as we look back and celebrate the birth of Jesus in a humble stable in Bethlehem, we also look forward anticipating the second coming of Christ as the fulfillment of all that was promised by his first coming.

The Christmas season begins at sundown on December 24 (Christmas Eve) and lasts until Epiphany of the Lord (January 6). This period is popularly referred to as “the twelve days of Christmas.”

A list of the events, activities, services, and volunteer/giving opportunities at First Church this Advent season are listed below. Make plans to worship with us at First Church as we anticipate the coming of Christ.


Church-Wide Movie Night
Sunday, November 28 | 5:00 – 7:30pm
Join us for our Christmas church-wide movie night! We will be playing Elf, Rudolph, & White Christmas. The Youth Choir will be selling snacks as a fundraiser. Doors open at 5:00pm, movies start at 5:30pm

50-Forward, Silver & Gold
Thursday, December 2 | 11:00am | $10
Click HERE to register
Join us for a fun filled afternoon of fellowship with friends. It will include a delicious lunch provided by Ruth’s Kitchen, along with a festive Christmas music performance by the ICON band. We will be visited by our First Church Elves and each guest will receive a Christmas gift from First Church. RSVP by November 30th. Doors open at 10:30am

Great Day of Giving
Sunday, December 5 | 9:30am | Great Hall
Click HERE to register
This Advent we invite you to join us for the Great Day of Giving! We will have a mission focused time to give back to those in our community. You will have the opportunity to sign up for the various ways to give and serve HERE, as well as make Christmas cards for the homebound, listen to the Christmas Story, participate in a special Serving the Hungry project, and fellowship with your church family.

Music & Worship Arts Dedication
Sunday, December 5 | All Services
For over 25 years, we have set aside a Sunday to celebrate all those who participate in the Choir and Worship Arts groups of our church. Music and Worship Arts Dedication Sunday is a time where all the choirs of First Church join together to sing an anthem. The Choirs have a total of over 300 members, and include the Kindergarten & 1st Grade Choir, 2nd – 4th Grade Choir, Club 56 Choir, Mid High Choir, Senior High Choir, and Handbell Choir.

Advent Concert Series: White Christmas Program
Sunday, December 5 | 5:00pm
Start the season with some festive Christmas music presented by our Children’s, Tween, and Youth Choirs. A special offering will be collected to benefit Embrace Florida Kids. Afterwards, everyone is invited to join us for pizza and cookies in The Wright Place.

50-Forward, Lunch Out
Thursday, December 9 | 11:30am | Pensacola Yacht Club | $20
Click HERE to register
Join us for our special Christmas lunch outing with friends. We will be gathering at The beautiful Pensacola Yacht Club for a delicious buffet lunch. RSVP by December 7th.

50-Forward, Friday Night at the Wright Place
Friday, December 10 | 6:00pm | $10
Click HERE to register
Join us for a fun filled evening of fellowship with friends. It will include a delicious dinner provided by Ruth’s Kitchen, along with a festive Christmas music performance by Paul Martin and Mitzi Holt. RSVP by December 7th. Doors open at 5:30pm.

Advent Concert Series: An Electric Christmas Concert
Sunday, December 12 | 6:00pm
Registration for Childcare is required. Email to register by December 5. Rick and Heidi Branch, along with some of their talented friends from First Church, will be performing music from the popular Mannheim Steamroller Christmas albums using piano, flute, electric keyboards, synthesizers, drums, timpani, and other percussion. Come and enjoy the unique sounds of Christmas.

Blue Christmas Service
Sunday, December 19 | 5:00pm | Chapel (NEW LOCATION)
Christmas can be a painful time for some, especially for those who are grieving or in despair, so each year around the longest night, we hold a service of healing prayers, scripture, and music that acknowledges God’s presence for those who mourn or struggle. All are welcome.

Advent Concert Series: Sanctuary Choir & Orchestra Christmas Concert
Sunday, December 19 | 7:30pm
This is a traditional evening of classical Christmas favorites presented by the First United Methodist Church Sanctuary Choir under the direction of Rick and Heidi Branch. A full professional orchestra will accompany the choir. A reception will be following the concert in The Wright Place.


Dinner & Communal Advent Wreath
Wednesdays, December 1 – 15 | 5:00 – 5:45pm
Click HERE to register for dinner
Join us each Wednesday night in Advent for dinner and a special Communal Advent Wreath lighting at each table. Registration for dinner is required.

Wednesday, December 22
A Chick-fil-A boxed dinner will be available for purchase prior to Christmas caroling. Registration for dinner closes on December 20. Click HERE to Register.

Discovering Advent
Wednesday, December 1 | 5:45pm | The Wright Place
Rev. Brandon Bures will start the season with a brief intro to the meaning of Advent as we enjoy our dessert and hot chocolate!

Bright Bridge Mission Project
Wednesday, December 8 | 5:45pm
You will have the opportunity to spread some Christmas cheer to our friends at Bright Bridge Ministries by making ornaments for them to decorate their Christmas Trees. Visit for more information about their ministry.

Nativity Exhibit & Christmas Pageant
Wednesday, December 15 | 5:45pm
Click HERE to Sign Up
Bring your favorite Nativity to display in The Wright Place for our Nativity Exhibit! All ages will also get to experience an interactive Christmas Pageant. All those wishing to participate in the Nativity Exhibit will need to have their scenes set up by 5:00pm and registration is requested.

Christmas Caroling
Wednesday, December 22 | 5:45 – 8:00pm | The Wright Place
Click HERE to Sign Up
All are welcome to join us for Christmas Caroling! We will go by church buses and personal vehicles and deliver good cheer and love to some of our senior church members. We will be continuing to observe Covid precautions for the safety of those we are visiting. RSVP online or to the church office by December 15. A Chick-fil-A boxed dinner will be available for purchase prior to Caroling. Registration for dinner closes on Monday, December 20.

Giving & Serving OPPORTUNITIES

Great Day of Giving
Sunday, December 5 | 9:30am | Great Hall
This Advent, we invite you to join us for the Great Day of Giving! We will have a mission focused time to give back to those in our community. You will have the opportunity sign up for the various ways to give and serve listed below, as well as make Christmas cards for the homebound, listen to the Christmas Story, and fellowship with your church family.

Food Boxes/Bags
Click HERE to register
Volunteer to buy a food box for a local family in need. Families can purchase the food items and deliver to the name & address given to you at the Great Day of Giving event OR donate a box to be delivered. Required registration deadline is November 28th.

Book & Toy Drive
As part of our Great Day of Giving, we are collecting “like new” children’s books and toys to give to the families that will be receiving the food box/bags. Please bring your items to the Great Day of Giving Event on December 5 at 9:30am in the Great Hall, or drop off at the Church Office before that date. Registration is not necessary to participate.

Angel Tree
Click HERE to register
The Angel Tree Angels consist of children from the Milk and Honey program, students from NB Cook, and some of the most needy children in our local community, many of which are in foster homes. Last year, our congregation blessed over 30 different families with clothing, books and toys. Register online or pick an angel from the tree in the front office starting November 21.

Be a Santa to a Senior
Click HERE to register
Provide some holiday cheer and gift giving to seniors who are least likely to receive a present during the holiday season. Home Instead Senior Care is leading our local senior assistance programs by providing our lonely and financially challenged seniors with the following gifts: functional clothing, toiletry items, pens/stationary, and giftcards. Register online or pick a Senior from the tree in the front office starting November 21.

White Christmas Donations 
Financially support the abandoned and neglected children in our  community through Embrace Florida Kids (United Methodist  Children’s Home). Give at or mail a check  to: Embrace Florida Kids, 5414 Highway 90, Pace, FL 32571.  Donations can also be given at the Drive-By Journey to Bethlehem  on December 6th. 


Waiting for Jesus: First Kids Advent Series
Sundays, November 28 – December 19 | 9:30 – 10:30am | 2nd Floor Education Building
All K – 4th graders are invited to join us as we wait for the coming of Christ! Each week the children will gather during the Sunday School hour for special Advent activities. All Scripture and activities will align with Preacher Brandon’s ICON sermons.

The Heart that Grew Three Sizes: Youth & Tween Study
Sundays, November 28 – December 19 | 9:30 – 10:30am | Youth Building
Rediscover the gift of Advent that comes without packages, ribbons, and bows. We don’t know why the Grinch hated Christmas. We just know he did. In this new Advent study, Matt Rawle explores the faith themes in the Christmas classic, How the Grinch Stole Christmas! including, how did the Grinch’s heart grow three sizes come Christmas morning? How did Christmas save the Grinch? Could it be that the very thing we think we hate is the one thing that changes our lives? This Advent and Christmas season, look at a familiar classic through the lens of faith and see how Christ speaks to us through our culture.

Advent Conspiracy: Youth & Tween Study
Senior High: Mondays | 7:30am | Panera
Mid-High & Tweens: Thursday | 7:00am | Whataburger
Advent Conspiracy shows you how to substitute consumption with compassion by practicing four simple but powerful, countercultural concepts: Worship Fully—because Christmas begins and ends with Jesus. Spend Less—and free your resources for things that truly matter. Give More—of your presence: your hands, your words, your time, your heart. Love All—the poor, the forgotten, the marginalized, and the sick in ways that make a difference. Find out how to have a Christmas worth remembering, not dreading. Christmas can still change the world when you, like Jesus, give what matters most—your presence.

Kid Connect Christmas Party
Wednesday, December 1 | 5:30 – 7:15pm
Children will rehearse for the White Christmas program from 5:30 – 6:15pm followed by a fun party to celebrate the end of the semester from 6:15 – 7:15pm.

Advent Adventure – Plus Kids Christmas Party & Parents Night Out!
Friday, December 3 | starting at 5:30pm
Click HERE to register
The whole family is invited to come meet the main Christmas characters and participate in activities that will help you connect to the story of Jesus’ birth. All those who participated in our Advent Adventure (5:30 – 6:30pm) are invited to enjoy a parent’s night out while the kids have their own special Christmas party (6:30 – 8:30pm). Space is limited. Registration is required and dinner will be provided for the kids.

Tween Christmas Party
Friday, December 3 | 6:30 – 8:30pm | $5
All 5th and 6th graders are invited to come celebrate the Christmas season with church friends in the youth building at A Tween Christmas Event – How the Grinch Stole Christmas. It will be a festive time of holiday food, meaningful fellowship and fun games! Make sure to bring $5.00 and let us know if you plan on attending. Contact to RSVP by Monday,November 29.

Senior High Christmas Party – Christmas Character Edition
Saturday, December 4 | 6:00pm | $6
We travel to three homes and have appetizers, dinner, and dessert. At our final house we will have a white elephant gift exchange. Bring something you already have at home, wrapped with no name on it. Please do not buy anything. Let us know if you are attending by December 1st so we can have plenty of food and enough transportation. Cost: $6. Pull out your favorite Christmas character outfit and join us! RSVP to

Mid-High Christmas Party
Friday, December 10 – Saturday, December 11 | 6:00pm – 9:15am | Youth Building | Cost-$15
We are excitedly preparing for the Mid-High Charlie Brown Christmas Party, and this year it’s going to be a sleepover! Please RSVP so we can know who will be able to come. Your middle schooler will need to bring $15 with them for dinner. What to pack- Sleeping bag, pillow, toothbrush & toothpaste, deodorant, and anything thing else that would involve sleeping over in the Youth Building for one night. If you bring something you would get in trouble with your Mom for, do not bring it!Over the course of the night, we will have dinner, games, crafts, and a lesson. We will also be watching the Charlie Brown Christmas movie! RSVP to by Monday, December 6.

Youth Christmas Scavenger Hunt
Saturday, December 18 | 4:00pm | Youth Building
Ready, set, go! The youth are invited to participate in a Christmas themed scavenger hunt. We will meet at the youth building at 4:00, break into teams led by our 50 Forward friends. You will have one hour to drive around Pensacola and locate all the things on your list. After the winner is declared, we will all gather for dinner. RSVP to

Baby Recognition
Sunday, December 19 | 11:00am | Wesley Abbey
Please join us as we welcome the newest members born into our church family in 2020 and 2021 and celebrate them as a child of God. A reception for families and friends will be held at 10:15am in the Wright Place. Please contact Sarah Hicks ( if you would like your child recognised if you have not been contacted by December 1.


Mom’s Bible Study: Thursdays | 8:15am | Wesley Abbey Cafe

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Soulfeast: Sundays | 9:30am | 2nd Floor Wright Place, Room 202
Get Wright on Mondays: Mondays | 5:45pm | Wesley Abbey Parlor

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Creation Care: Tuesdays | 6:30pm | via Zoom
( for link)

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Parent Trap: Sundays | 9:30am | Wesley Abbey Cafe

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Duell Lipscomb: Sundays |9:30am | Great Hall

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Women at the Well: Wednesdays | 10:30am | 2nd Floor Wright Place, Room 233

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Intergenerational Class: Sundays | 9:30am | 2nd floor Wright Place, Room 204

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Home Improvement: Sundays | 9:30am | Wesley Abbey, 2nd floor, Room 201

Young Professionals: Sundays | 9:30am | Wesley Abbey, Room 101

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Side by Side: Sundays | 9:30am | Wesley Abbey, 2nd floor, Room 209

Poinsettia orders

You may honor, celebrate, or memorialize individuals or events by  purchasing poinsettias for $12.00 each this Advent Season. Please  register online no later than December 8th. Email Sarah Bullock Head ( with any questions.  Click on the link below to get started!