This year we have TWO options for free devotionals to help guide your Lenten journey.
Devotional Booklets (hard copy or digital)
1) Our Lenten Devotional Booklets from A Sanctified Art are available for pick-up beginning Feb. 11. You can pick up in the church lobby or in the plastic box outside the office doors. If you prefer a web-based version or would like a hard copy placed in the U.S. mail, please contact the church office. (This is the devotional that the Adult Sunday School class will use to guide their conversations throughout Lent.)
About the devotional: "Beginning with the First Sunday in Lent, this weekly devotional follows the scriptures of our Wandering Heart series through the Second Sunday of Easter. Each week offers commentary, poetry, visual art, hymns, and reflection prompts. We encourage you to walk through these weekly readings at your own pace throughout the season, following the rhythm that works best for you. The devotional features biblical commentary by our guest writers, Dr. Terence Lester and Dr. Karoline M. Lewis, and art and reflections by our guest artists, Rev. Nicolette Peñaranda and Rev. T. Denise Anderson.” (from sanctifiedart.com)
Daily Devotional Cards (via e-mail)
2) For those who prefer a daily devotional, we are pleased to offer Daily Devotional cards via email. Receive a daily invitation to a Centering Practice, Reflection Question, and Prayer. These cards were also created by A Sanctified Art and follow our Wandering Heart theme. If you’d like to receive one each day in your inbox, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get you added to the list.
Use one or both of these great resources to guide your spiritual journey this Lent. And....don't forget about the Spotify playlist for when you need some music.
All members of our boards and committees are invited to attend the 2024 Leadership Kick Off on Wednesday, Jan. 10th from 6-8pm. We will gather for dinner and then meet together. If you're not able to make it in-person you also have the option of joining us after dinner via Zoom.
Please RSVP at your earliest convenience by using the online form below or calling the church office so we have numbers for dinner.
The purpose of this gathering is to share tips and wisdom for the upcoming year and provide an opportunity for those who serve in leadership to meet one another and spend time connecting. This year we will be inviting people to select a topic of interest and spend time in small groups dreaming and exploring together.
Please note: we will NOT be including time for your January board/committee meetings as we’ve done in the past. Please check in with other members of your board to find out whether you are having a January meeting at another time.
We look forward to gathering with you! Please contact Paul Hunt if you have questions.
Monday, Dec. 18th at 5:30 p.m.
Christmas isn’t always happy. For those who are weary, grieving, lonely, or struggling with difficult memories, the holiday season can be painful. On December 18th, we will gather on one of the longest nights of the year to make space for grief and hope and remember the coming of Christ without all the tinsel and reindeer. Come if you are lonely, grieving, or having a difficult time this holiday season. Be with others who are also feeling blue.
NOTE: This service will be in-person ONLY but if you aren’t able to join us in-person we have an at-home liturgy you can use. Please contact the office so we can send it to you.
A Dream Confirmed by Lisle Gwynn Garrity
A Sanctified Art LLC | sanctifiedart.org
Nov. 26 - Advent Begins with HOPE
Don’t forget to pick up your free Advent devotional and calendar at the church building. Online versions also available - just email the church office.
Dec. 3 - Lessons and Carols of PEACE
Join us in-person or via Zoom for our annual Lessons & Carols service, led by members of our vocal and bell choirs.. Many thanks to our musicians for sharing your gifts in this way. We will also share Communion during worship. And after worship we are having a welcoming lunch for those who are new or new-ish to our congregation (RSVP at uccmanhattan.org/welcome).
Dec. 10 - the JOY of brass in Worship (and welcoming new members!)
We’ll be joined by our beautiful brass ensemble during worship on December 10th. Join us at 10:30 a.m. for pre-service music in-person or via Zoom. We also plan to welcome new members during this service.
Dec. 17th - we LOVE the Christmas Pageant and Cookie Exchange
Join us for our annual Christmas Pageant, led by the children of our congregation. Join us in person or via Zoom at 10:45 a.m. for this special service. The kids will be sharing scripture, story, and song. We can't wait to see what they've created!
And….after worship it’s on to the Cookie Exchange! 🎄 Here's info about the cookie exchange!
1. Drop off 2 dozen cookies in Blachly Hall before worship.
2. After worship, we will hand out gloves and plates to those who dropped off cookies.
3. Participants will line up and walk around the table to choose three cookies each rotation until all the cookies are gone.
4. You will leave with 2 dozen new cookies to enjoy. 🎉
5. Eat on the way home??? 🍪
We have several folks in our congregation with food allergies. So we are also seeking volunteers to bring some store-bought/prepackaged cookies that will work for those who are gluten-free, nut-free, dairy-free, etc. Walmart, Hy-Vee, and Dillons all have good selections. Providing store-bought cookies ensures they are prepared safely, which can be challenging in a home kitchen. Plus, then you don't have to bake! Please DO bring the box along so those who need to can read the labels. Thanks!
Dec. 18th - Blue Christmas (a worship service for the weary) at 5:30 p.m.
Christmas isn’t always happy. For those who are weary, grieving, lonely, or struggling with difficult memories, the holiday season can be painful. On December 18th, we will gather on one of the longest nights of the year to make space for grief and hope and remember the coming of Christ without all the tinsel and reindeer. Come if you are lonely, grieving, or having a difficult time this holiday season. Be with others who are also feeling blue. NOTE: This service will be in-person ONLY but if you aren’t able to join us in-person we have an at-home liturgy you can use. Please contact email@example.com and we’re happy to send it to you.
Dec. 24th at 7:00 p.m. Christmas Eve Worship
Christmas Eve is a time for singing carols by candlelight and remembering the gift that came to us in a tiny town all those years ago. Join us at 7:00 p.m. on December 24th as we celebrate the birth of Christ by hearing the story once again and sharing Communion at Christ's table (open to all!). People of all ages are welcome at this service, in-person or via Zoom. Pre-service music will begin at 6:45pm. PLEASE NOTE: we will ONLY have the evening service on Christmas Eve (no morning activities on the 24th).
Dec. 31st: Poetry and Pajamas Worship
Christmas Sunday is Dec. 31st. The service will be centered around an offering of Christmas Poetry. If you are interested in volunteering to read poetry during worship, please contact Pastor Caela. Children are invited to come to worship in their pajamas on this low-key, comfy morning.
Christmas Eve: Ordinary Glory by Lauren Wright Pittman
Blue Christmas: A Dream Confirmed by Lisle Gwynn Garrity
A Sanctified Art LLC | sanctifiedart.org
Advent devotionals and calendars will be available for pick up November 12th. Look for the plastic box outside the double doors that go into the office area at the church building or pick up in the lobby. If you'd rather have an electronic copy or need one posted in the mail, e-mail the office to request. Our devotionals are from A Sanctified Art and include poetry, art, scripture, and space for reflection. There is also a one-page family Advent calendar for your refrigerator. It includes simple activities for people or all ages.
Are you planning to purchase any gift cards for the upcoming holidays? Our congregation participates in RaiseRight, which enables us to receive a percentage of any gift cards you buy from their website. You'll find all kinds of major retailers: Target, Walmart, Starbucks, Airbnb, Amazon, Ulta, Best Buy, Home Depot, and more!
When you purchase a gift card you'll see how much money will be returned to the church - anywhere from 1.5-15%! You can buy physical or eGift cards and have them shipped directly to your home or in a bulk order to the church. Bonus: you can even buy gift cards for your own everyday essentials and then use those gift cards as you need them. Win-win.
To get started, click here.
Please note: any cards that you have shipped to the church will not be available until December 20 so if you need them earlier, have them shipped to your home.
If you're new (or new-ish) we'd love to include you in one or both of these upcoming welcoming events in December.
Sunday, Dec. 3rd after worship: join us in Andover Hall for a pizza lunch and time to get to know one another better. We'd love to learn about how our congregation can support you and provide opportunities for connection.
Sunday, Dec. 10th during worship: we'll have a Covenant Celebration and welcome anyone who would like to become a member of our congregation.
You can RSVP for the lunch and learn more about what it means to be a member HERE.
Join us on Sunday, Nov. 12th immediately after worship for our November Congregational Meeting. The meeting will be held in the sanctuary and you can attend remotely via Zoom by staying in the same Zoom room that we use for worship (http://www.uccmanhattan.org/online). All are welcome to attend and members will also be invited to vote. We will be previewing the 2024 budget and approving the slate of officers for 2024.
Hard copies of the draft budget and slate of officers will be available in the church building. If you need a digital copy, please contact the church office so we can email you a link.
On Nov. 5th, we join with Christians around the globe in remembering our saints on All Saints’ Day. We will name those who have died in the past year who we hold dear to our hearts. Please join us for worship as we remember our saints together.
Since the late 1990’s, our faith community has held a Thursday night worship service of prayer and song, inspired by the worship tradition in the community of Taize, in southern France. During the Covid-19 pandemic, we moved this worship experience online, meeting over Zoom on Thursday evenings. We have been on a summer vacation since May, however, and as we resume, we will be making some changes. Beginning on October 19, we will resume worshipping together in person only, in Pioneer Hall. We will meet once a month, at 7:00, for prayer and song, on the third Thursday of each month thereafter. We have missed the communal aspect of our songs and prayer, and look forward to being together again. We extend a loving invitation to all of our church family to join us for this quiet, approximately 30-minute time together.