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

Advent 2022

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.


WEDNESDAYS IN ADVENT

FREE Advent Kick-Off Dinner
Wednesday, November 30 | 5:00 – 6:00pm | The Wright Place
Click HERE to Register
Join us for a FREE Dinner and fellowship as we kick off the Advent Season!  Make sure to bring a friend! Menu: Spaghetti with Meat Sauce, Salad, Garlic Bread, Dessert. 

Wednesday Nights in Advent Kick-Off: FOR ALL AGES
“Hope”
with Rev. Jean Tippit
November 30 | 6:00 – 7:00pm | The Wright Place
All ages are invited to join us as we kick-off the Advent season with Wednesday Nights in Advent! Each Wednesday will center around the “theme” word for that week of Advent. Rev. Jean Tippit, Pensacola District Superintendent will be our guest speaker. Following dinner, from 6:00 to 6:15pm, all ages will gather for a few minutes of worship and lighting the Advent wreath in the Great Hall. The children and tweens will go to their age-level activities from 6:15 – 7:00pm (click HERE for more info). Childcare provided. The adults will stay in the Great Hall for a lesson from our speaker, Rev. Jean Tippit. 

Wednesday Night Dinners
Wednesdays, December 7 – December 14 | 5:00 – 5:45pm | The Wright Place
Click HERE to register each week
Join us each Wednesday night in Advent for dinner and fellowship with your church family. Please register the Tuesday before at Noon. Cost is $10 for adults (10 and older) and $4 for children. 

Wednesday Nights in Advent
“Love” with Jerry Maygarden
Wednesday, December 7 | 6:00 – 7:00pm | The Wright Place
After dinner, from 6:00 to 6:15pm, all ages will gather for a few minutes of worship and lighting the Advent wreath in the Great Hall. The children and tweens will go to their age-level activities from 6:15 – 7:00pm (click HERE for more info). Childcare provided. The adults will stay in the Great Hall for a lesson from our speaker, Jerry Maygarden. 

Wednesday Nights in Advent
“Joy”
with Patrick Houghton

Wednesday, December 14 |  6:00 – 7:00pm | The Wright Place
After dinner, from 6:00 to 6:15pm, all ages will gather for a few minutes of worship and lighting the Advent wreath in the Great Hall. The children and tweens will go to their age-level activities from 6:15 – 7:00pm (click HERE for more info). Childcare provided. The adults will stay in the Great Hall for a lesson from our speaker, Patrick Houghton. 

Wednesday Nights in Advent
Christmas Caroling: “Peace”

Wednesday, December 21 | 5:30 – 8:00pm (Dinner at 5:00pm) | The Wright Place
Dinner Registration
All ages 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. Pizza will be available prior to caroling at 5:00pm  for $5/person. Registration for food is required by Tuesday, December 20.



SERVICES & EVENTS

50-Forward, Silver & Gold
Thursday, December 1 | 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 festive Christmas music performed by Rick Branch and Judy Butler, as well as Christmas games and trivia. We will be visited by our First Church Elves and each guest will receive a Christmas gift. RSVP by November 27th. Doors open at 10:30am.

50-Forward, Lunch Out: Pensacola Yacht Club
Thursday, December 8 | 11:30am | $25
Click HERE to Register
Join us for a special Christmas lunch outing with friends. We will gather at the beautiful Pensacola Yacht Club for a delicious buffet lunch. RSVP by December 4th. Please bring $25/person for lunch, cash or check, made out to FUMC Pensacola.  

Great Day of Giving & Mission Fair 
Sunday, December 11 | 9:00 -10:45am | Gym
The Great Day of Giving is a church-wide event that promotes giving to ministry partners and families in need in our community. This program offers children, youth and adults an opportunity to prepare and deliver 75 Christmas food boxes (more info on food drive). It includes activities such as making gifts and cards for our homebound. We will also have a special visit from Santa! He will give a blessing of the boxes, a word about giving, and will also be available for pictures.

The same morning, there will be a Missions Fair in which our FUMC Missions Partners will come share what they are doing in our community and offer ways to get involved. You will have an opportunity to financially support these agencies directly at this time. These agencies/ministry partners include: Backpack-Weekend Feeding Program, Bright Bridge, Disaster Relief, Embrace Florida Kids, Gulf Coast Kids House, JUST Pensacola, Milk and Honey, Ronald McDonald House, Serve the Hungry, Teaming with Tanzania, and United Ministries.

White Christmas Program 
Sunday, December 11 | 5:00pm | Main Sanctuary
Start the season with some festive Christmas music presented by our Children’s, Tween, and Youth Choirs. It will include a children’s musical titled “Light of the World”, featuring a dance by our ballet class. Libby Hargrave will also be premiering a piece based on the Angel Window; Angel Gabriel’s announcement of the annunciation to Mary. This piece was composed by Libby as part of our Window Concert Series in honor of the 200th Anniversary. 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. Nursery provided.

50-Forward, XYZ Outing
Monday, December 12 | 11:30am | $6 
Click HERE to register
Join us for a special Christmas outing to the Pensacola State College Planetarium. The lights will dim and we will watch the “Let it Snow: A Holiday Musical Journey” show which features a new variety of festive classics from Frank Sinatra, Chuck Berry, Burl Ives, Ella Fitzgerald, Brenda Lee, and more with a stunning grand finale by the Trans Siberian Orchestra. The soundtrack is visually enhanced with thematic animation and full dome scenery. We will meet at the PSC Planetarium at 11:00am. RSVP by December 8th. Please bring $6/person, cash.  

Sanctuary Choir & Orchestra Christmas Concert 
Sunday, December 18 | 7:30pm | Main Sanctuary
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 follow the concert in The Wright Place.

Longest Night Service
Wednesday, December 21 | 6:30pm | Chapel
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.

Tidings of Comfort & Joy Concert
Friday, December 23 | 6:00 & 8:00pm | Main Sanctuary | $15 at wuwf.org/tidings
This annual concert, hosted by WUWF, consists of seasonal music both religious and secular, traditional and contemporary, expertly mixed and chosen by WUWF’s Dale Riegle. 2022 Concert performers include Sewell Griffith, soprano; Stephanie Riegle, flute; Aleksandra Pereverzeva, Cello; Katie Ott, Harp; Christina Buran, Piano; The Perdido Brass – Dale Riegle and Jonathan Martin, Trumpet; Stuart Kinney, Horn; Bret Barrow and Don Snowden, Trombone. It is a ticketed event and tickets must be purchased through WUWF online at wuwf.org/tidings.



Giving & Serving OPPORTUNITIES

Great Day of Giving Food Drive 
The Great Day of Giving Food Drive is a church-wide event to promote giving to families in need and to our ministry partners in the community. Each age group is asked to bring in the listed non-perishable items below by December 4. We will prepare the food boxes at our Great Day of Giving event on December 11. We will have designated drop-off bins in the Church Office and Children’s Education Building. 
MCA Preschool: Canned Ravioli, Canned Beefaroni, Spaghettios, Canned Veggies (3) and Canned Fruit (3)
Children: Mac ‘N Cheese, Cheez-Its, Goldfish, Graham Crackers, Nilla Wafers
Youth: Peanut Butter, Jelly, Saltine Crackers
Adults: Oatmeal, Pancake Mix (add water), Spaghetti Sauce, Spaghetti Noodles, Rice, Chili, Soup, Canned Veggies, Canned Fruit

The Great Day of Giving & Mission Fair
Sunday, December 11 | 9:00 -10:45am | Gym
The Great Day of Giving is a church-wide event that promotes giving to ministry partners and families in need in our community. This program offers children, youth and adults an opportunity to prepare and deliver 75 Christmas food boxes. It includes activities such as making gifts and cards for our homebound. We will also have a special visit from Santa! He will give a blessing of the boxes, a word about giving, and will also be available for pictures.

The same morning, there will be a Missions Fair in which our FUMC Missions Partners will come share what they are doing in our community and offer ways to get involved. You will have an opportunity to financially support these agencies directly at this time. These agencies/ministry partners include: Backpack-Weekend Feeding Program, Bright Bridge, Disaster Relief, Embrace Florida Kids, Gulf Coast Kids House, JUST Pensacola, Milk and Honey, Ronald McDonald House, Serve the Hungry, Teaming with Tanzania, and United Ministries.

Angel Tree
Click HERE to Register Online
Children from N.B Cook, Milk and Honey, and some of the most needy children in our local area are included in our tree this year.  Each child will have two angels placed on the tree: one for their clothing needs and one with their interests, likes, and toys.  You will have the option of picking your own angel from the tree (no need to register online), or you can register online and one will be chosen for you. All angels must be signed out and returned with unwrapped gifts to the church office no later than Sunday, December 11. The difference our congregation makes in the lives of our Angel Tree participants each year is incredibly special and we are thrilled to set up the tree again!  Please contact Sarah Bullock-Head in the church office with any questions. SHead@FUMCPensacola.com (850)432-1434. 

Be a Santa to a Senior
Click HERE to Register Online
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 gift cards. Register online or pick a Senior from the tree in the front office. You will have the option of picking your own “senior” from the tree (no need to register online), or you can register online and one will be chosen for you.  All “bulbs” must be signed out and returned with unwrapped gifts to the church office no later than Sunday, December 18. Please contact Sarah Bullock-Head in the church office with any questions. SHead@FUMCPensacola.com (850)432-1434.

White Christmas Donations 
Financially support the abandoned and neglected children in our  community through Embrace Florida Kids (United Methodist  Children’s Home). Give at EmbraceFLKids.org or mail a check  to: Embrace Florida Kids, 5414 Highway 90, Pace, FL 32571.  Donations can also be given at the White Christmas Concert on December 11. 



KIDS, TWEENS, YOUTH, & FAMILIES

Wednesday Nights in Advent: Just for Kids & Tweens
Wednesdays, November 30 – December 21
All ages are invited to join us for Wednesday Nights in Advent! November 30 – December 14, from 6:00 to 6:15pm, all ages will gather for a few minutes of worship and lighting the Advent wreath in the Great Hall. The kids and tweens (3 Years Old – 6th Grade) will go to their age-level activities from 6:15 – 7:00pm while the adults stay in the Great Hall for the adult study. Nursery will be provided. December 21, from 5:30 – 8:00pm, we will all go Christmas Caroling following a Pizza Dinner (more info below)!

November 30: To begin our Advent season, we learn about The Jesse Tree,  a great way to help kids/tweens learn more about who Jesus is, and how the ENTIRE Bible points to Him.

December 7:  Join us for an engaging worship experience as we tell the Christmas story through Zechariah and Elizabeth, Mary and Joseph, the shepherds, and the angels. We will focus on prayer, believing, praise, and worship.

December 14: Come hear the stories of some of our more popular Christmas symbols –  the Christmas tree, candy cane, and poinsettia. Then enjoy making a craft that connects with the story.

December 21: We invite everyone to join us for a night of Christmas caroling to our  homebound member.  We will gather for pizza, get into groups and spread a little music cheer. Click HERE to register for dinner.


Sunday Morning Celebrations in Advent: Just for Kids
Sundays | 9:45 – 10:45am
Kids, 3 years – 4th grade, are invited to join us on Sunday Mornings in Advent for our Sunday Morning Celebrations!

November 27: Celebrating Jesus’ Example – We will celebrate the many ways Jesus practiced God’s love through worship, kindness, service, and witness. Come remember and celebrate!

December 4: Celebrating our Church History – We will go on a church campus Scavenger Hunt and enjoy some bday cake to celebrate the Bicentennial Celebration.

December 11: Celebrating Service – Great Day of Giving/Santa Visit – Families are invited to help their kids learn and participate in a morning of giving experiences, including assembling food boxes, making crafts for our homebound, and hear Santa talk about the reason for the season.

December 18: Celebrating Jesus – Come to church in your pjs and watch the Nativity movie while eating popcorn and sipping on marshmallow chocolate.

First Friday – Kids: Christmas Party & Parent’s Night Out
Friday, December 2 | 5:30 – 8:00pm | Gym
Registration – Deadline to register is Tuesday, November 29
Children, Infant-4th grade, are invited to join us for our Grinch themed Christmas Party. We will play games, crafts, watch a movie, eat dinner, and dessert. Dinner & Dessert is $5. Drop off and pick up is in the gym. 

Tween Christmas Party
Friday, December 2 | 5:30 – 8:30pm | Youth Building
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 this Friday, 5:30-8:30! It will be a festive time of holiday food, fellowship and fun games! Make sure to bring $5.00 and let us know if you plan on attending. RSVP by Tuesday, November 29 by emailing dvanatta@fumcpensacola.com

Mid-High Sleepover
Saturday, December 3 – Sunday, December 4  |  5:30pm – 9:15am | Youth Building | $15
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 by Tuesday, November 29 by emailing dvanatta@fumcpensacola.com.

Senior High Christmas Party – Tacky Sweater Edition
Friday, December 9 | 6:00 pm | $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 2 so we can have plenty of food. Cost: $6. Pull out your favorite Tacky Christmas Sweater and join us! RSVP to dvanatta@fumcpensacola.com.

Baby Recognition 
Sunday, December 18 | 11:00am | Main Sanctuary
Please join us as we welcome the newest members born into our church family in 2022 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 Lisa Bond (LBond@FUMCPenscola.com) if you would like your child recognised if you have not been contacted by December 1.



Poinsettia orders

Click HERE to place order
You may honor, celebrate, or memorialize individuals or events by purchasing poinsettias for $13.00 each this Advent Season. Please register online no later than December 11th. Email Sarah Bullock Head (SHead@FUMCPensacola.com) with any questions.



christmas eve

Nursery is provided for children under 5 at the 4:00, 5:00 and 6:00pm services. Email LBond@FUMCPensacola.com for more information.

Candlelight & Communion Service
Saturday, December 24 | 4:00pm | Main Sanctuary
A service of candlelight, Christmas carols, children’s sermon and communion. Nursery provided for children under 5.

An ICON Christmas
Saturday, December 24 |5:00pm | Wesley Abbey
An intimate and contemplative, multi-sensory candlelight and communion service. Includes children’s sermon. Nursery provided for children under 5.

Candlelight & Communion Service
Saturday, December 24 |6:00pm | Main Sanctuary
A service of candlelight, Christmas carols, children’s sermon and communion. Nursery provided for children under 5.

Choir, Candlelight, & Communion Service
Saturday, December 24 |8:00pm | Main Sanctuary
A traditional service of candlelight, Christmas carols, communion, and special choral music.

looking ahead…

Christmas Day Service 
Sunday, December 25 | 11:00am | Main Sanctuary
A combined service of lessons and carols with communion. 

New Years Day Service 
Sunday, January 1 | 11:00am | Main Sanctuary 
A traditional Wesleyan Covenant Renewal Service and communion. 

Epiphany Concert
Thursday, January 5 | 7:00pm | Main Sanctuary
Join us for a very special last concert of the season, “Journey to the Manger”, featuring local musicians from area churches. A love offering will be taken. Proceeds from concert will go towards FUMC Music Ministry