Greetings UCoL Friends,
I would like to share just a few notes of the Church Board focus and action. The Church weekly e-newsletter is comprehensive and full of information on UCoL news and activities. You can can go to our website and click on "Subscribe to E-news" to sign up to receive the enewsletter directly by email. If you know of any folks that don’t have email addresses and might like to know the happenings and activities of the Church, a suggestion is that you print it off and share it with them.
I would like to share an overview of what the Board handles in an ongoing manner.
The Church Board works on your behalf to support the UCoL responsibilities we have. Some of those expectations are Property management and official reporting requirements to various entities, Staffing support, Congregational education and opportunity for involvement, Review and monitoring of financial matters, Connection and correspondence with Pacific Mountain Region, Planning and Projects for UCoL congregational events, among other requirements. The Board is also dedicated to service to UCoL in a Christ-like manner and with consideration of the Congregation’s best interest, benefit, needs and wishes. In a nutshell, our responsibility is to serve you. The Board welcomes and requests your communication to us related to the Church. You can always contact any Board Member – a written note to the Board is preferable, as we want to understand your thoughts and ideas fully and accurately. We will faithfully respond to you.
What a very special time of year this is for Christians and others everywhere. Christmas cards, Christmas music and carols, Advent reflections, and spoken greetings among all people reflect the sacred gifts of Christmas – Hope, Peace, Joy and Love.
December 4th Sunday begins the second week of Advent. I would like to share some history and background of the wreath that many of us relate to Christmas. I find this information interesting and enlightening. As I see and feel the signs of Advent and Christmas all around us, this information expands my thoughts and enriches my heart with the sacredness of Christmas that is shared worldwide.
Advent Wreath - The most significant tradition of Advent is the Advent Wreath. The Wreath itself, which is made of various evergreens, signifies continuous life. The circle of the wreath, which has no beginning or end, symbolizes the eternity of God, the immortality of the soul, and the everlasting life we find in Christ.
Even the individual evergreens that make up the wreath have their own meanings that can be adapted to our faith. The laurel signifies victory over persecution and suffering. The pine, holly and yew signify immortality, and the cedar signifies strength and healing. The pinecones that decorate the wreath symbolize life and resurrection. The wreath as a whole is meant to remind us of our souls and God’s promise of everlasting life to us through Christ.
The candles also have their own special significance. The four candles represent the four weeks of Advent, and one candle is lit each Sunday. Three of the candles are blue, a liturgical colour that signifies a time of prayer, penance, and sacrifice. One candle is pink, a liturgical colour that signifies Joy.
The first candle this year at UCoL is blue, the “Angel’s Candle,” and symbolizes Peace. It reminds us of the message of the angels: “Peace on Earth, Good Will Toward Men.” We look the angels and the prophets for ways to seek Peace in our time and place.
The second candle this year at UCoL is pink and symbolizes Joy. It is called the “Shepherd’s Candle” and is pink because rose is a liturgical colour for joy. This Sunday of Advent is Gaudete Sunday and is meant to remind us of the joy that the world experienced at the birth of Jesus. At UCoL this year it also symbolizes the joy of music in community in our Mistletoe service, as well as our remembering of our dear Pat Thebaud Joy in Life!
The third candle this year is blue and symbolizes Hope. It is sometimes called the “Prophecy Candle” in remembrance of the prophets, especially Isaiah, who foretold the birth of Christ. It represents the expectation felt in anticipation of the coming Messiah. At UCoL this year it also symbolizes the Hope of refugees seeking a place of "Home."
The fourth candle, also blue, represents Love. It is called the “Bethlehem Candle” as a reminder of Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem. At UCoL this year it also signifies Mary's holy "yes" to give birth to Love.
Christmas Blessings to Everyone!
On behalf of the UCoL Church Board,