West End United Methodist Church

A Message from Pastor Carol

On the first Sunday of Advent, I often open worship by saying, “Happy New Year,” not because my calendar is a month off but because the first Sunday of Advent is also the first Sunday of the Christian year. We begin the year with the anticipation of Jesus’ birth and walk together through a season of waiting and preparation.

This year’s Advent will prepare for a particularly special year together. In 2023 our congregation will be celebrating 150 years of ministry in Nashville. We will have many special events throughout the year, and one of the things that will guide us on our journey is reading through the Bible together. As we recount the story of West End UMC, we will hear it in the context of God’s great story with humankind revealed to us in scripture. We will celebrate the generations of faithful people who helped build West End, as well as the generations of faithful people who followed God throughout the ages of history.

Advent will launch us into 2023 with the theme “The Hope of Every Generation.” Each week during this season we will hear a voice from the generations who came before Jesus, preparing the way for his birth. We’ll begin with Jesus’ genealogy recounted in Matthew. Then we’ll hear from the prophet Isaiah, from John the Baptist, and finally from Joseph—all members of generations who prepared the way.
The Advent season is a time that stirs up many memories of the past but also calls us forward into the hope of God’s future. May this season be for you a time to reconnect with old traditions and lean forward into new expressions of God’s love for every generation.  
 


 

Fully Human, Fully Divine: An Advent Devotional for the Whole Self
A Resource for Personal Devotion and Group Study

Fully Human, Fully Divine is an invitation to an embodied Advent. Over the course of four weeks, Author Whitney Simpson encourages us to embrace the experience of the Advent season fully, with our whole selves, and remember that Jesus showed us what it meant to be both fully human and fully divine. She challenges us to live right here, right now as we await the birth of the Christ Child, the embodiment of God’s presence in our midst. 

During a season that can often become stressful and overwhelming, we are rarely permitted time to be present in our own bodies. We forget that our bodies are blessed and consecrated. God did not create the body to bring us doubt or shame; instead, God created us as living, breathing human beings who have the ability to live wholly--body and spirit together. 

In this book, Simpson suggests practices that will help us focus on the body God created and embrace what it means to be fully human. By letting go of external demands and giving ourselves permission to be present as we listen for God in our lives, we can learn what it looks like to notice and pay attention to our bodies. 

Each chapter covers one week of Advent, and each week focuses on one of the following themes: Slow Down and Hope, Simplify for Peace, Sit with Joy, and Savor God’s Love. Within each week are a rotation of daily practices including breath prayer, mindful movement, lectio divina, visio divina (which utilizes beautiful, colorful works of art each week), Christian meditation, creative contemplation, and practicing presence. 
We encourage you to use this book in one or both of the following ways:

  • As a guide for personal devotion.  The book is designed to use daily beginning on the first Sunday of Advent (November 27).  Simply purchase the book and begin using it as Advent begins.   
  • As a small group study or group reflection.  The book includes suggestions for small groups and small-group leaders, as well as advice on creating safe sacred space for small groups.  The daily exercises and weekly themes can be used as a foundation for discussion, reflection, and prayer.  

If your Sunday morning class or other small group would like to use the book during Advent and you have questions about how to adapt it for group study, contact Pastor Erin for more assistance:  eracine@westendumc.org.

You may purchase the book at Cokesbury (https://www.cokesbury.com/9780835820097-Fully-Human-Fully-Divine) or Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/Fully-Human-Divine-Advent-Devotional/dp/0835820092).

 

Missions and Outreach Advent Opportunities

Advent Special Offering - Lunches for Hope Program
This year’s Advent Offering will go to the Lunches for Hope Program in the Dassa-Zoume region of Benin, Africa. The funds will be used by former West End member Hilarion Vegba who worshipped and studied with us when he was enrolled in a program at Vanderbilt. He had a great idea to provide a daily lunch to the 30 girls enrolled in the program. These thirty girls will receive lunch five days a week for nine months of school.  Before this program, girls without this lunch money asked for the money from men who took advantage of their situation.  West End funded this program last year and there was a dramatic decrease in girls dropping out of school, early pregnancy and trafficking. Our goal is $5400 which will fully fund lunches for one year.   You can give online by marking the “Other” and writing in “Advent Special Offering” or by check with “Advent Special Offering” in the memo line.


Advent Mission Markets
We are excited to provide opportunities for you to financially support organizations that have a social mission. During the Sundays of Advent we will have vendors in Reed Hall, including Chimes for Justice (the stained glass/stepping stones), Harvest Hands (coffees and soaps), The Little Match Girl, Ten Thousand Villages, as well as items we’ve brought back from our trip to Guatemala. These vendors will be in Reed Hall shortly before early service through to fifteen minutes after the late worship service.


Share The Gift // Alternative Gift Guide

Be sure to take a look at our 2022ShareTheGiftBrochure.pdf for this year. Your purchase make direct differences in the lives of so many people. 

 

 

Scripture Readings for the Advent Season

 

See the 2022 Advent Brochure



Upcoming Advent Events
 

November 27 2022

4th Story Theater Nativities

During the season of Advent on Sundays from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., an...
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December 3 2022

Advent Mini Retreat

Start the Advent season with an experience that seeks to connect you with...
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December 4 2022

4th Story Theater Nativities

During the season of Advent on Sundays from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., an...
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December 4 2022

Advent Wreath Workshop

The Advent Wreath Workshop will be December 4, 2022. We will be in the...
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December 10 2022

OEF Christmas Party

4th, 5th, and 6th Graders are invited to join us for a Christmas Party on...
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December 11 2022

4th Story Theater Nativities

During the season of Advent on Sundays from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., an...
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December 11 2022

Annual Candlelighting Service

The Candlelighting Service is a long time West End tradition featuring all...
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December 14 2022

The Grinch - Family Movie Night

Presented by the Drama and Visual Arts Ministry in the 4th Story Theater ...
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December 16 2022

Youth Progressive Dinner: Christmas PJ Theme!

This is an evening for ALL of our 7th -12th graders to come together for...
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December 18 2022

4th Story Theater Nativities

During the season of Advent on Sundays from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., an...
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December 21 2022

Service of the Longest Night

The Christmas season is often advertised as a time of celebration and...
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December 24 2022

Family Christmas Eve Service

All ages of children and families are invited to participate in our Family...
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December 24 2022

Traditional Christmas Eve Service

With the sacrament of Holy Communion and music of the choirs, this...
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December 25 2022

4th Story Theater Nativities

During the season of Advent on Sundays from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., an...
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