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Advent & Christmas 2020

This Advent, we are looking to hear words of comfort, of challenge, and of good news. The prophet Isaiah and the four Gospel authors were writing in a time when people needed desperately to hear all of these as well. With these messages and weekly stories of music’s significance through history, we invite you to join us. Participate from the sanctuary of your own home, in the series, I Believe Even When…

Join us on Facebook Live Sunday mornings for worship. 

Publishing Credits: Worship series design © Worship Design Studio by Marcia McFee. Used, adapted, and live-streamed with permission. Permission to podcast/stream the music in this service obtained from ONE LICENSE, License A-714641; CCLI 435430 and CRL030829.

Advent Worship Services Online

I Believe, Even When: Filling the Night with Music and Light On paths of hope, love, joy, and peace, we’ll find our inspiration, even when we are separated. This year, we’ll affirm the ways right now that we can believe. We’ll share  good news from all four gospels. We’ll hear the stories behind hymns and explore the power of music in our lives. We’ll turn living rooms into sanctuaries. We’ll light candles together. Please join us on FACEBOOK LIVE at 9:00 am; African Nationals Worship 12:30 pm.

  • November 29: I Believe in the Sun: Hope for Tomorrow (All Together Sunday, worship at 11:00 am)
  • December 6: I Believe in Love: Daring Right Relationship
  • December 13: I Believe in God: Ode to Joy
  • December 20: I Believe in the Light: Illuminating Peace
  • December 24: We Believe, Even Now
  • December 27: Believe This: The Time Has Come

Church-wide Advent Study

Many of our adult small groups will be discussing Adam Hamilton’s Incarnation: Rediscovering the Significance of Christmas this Advent season. In his most recent book, Hamilton “examines the names of Christ used by the gospel writers, exploring the historical and personal significance of his birth.” Let your group leader know of your need for a book.

Would you like to participate in an Advent study, but you aren’t part of a group that is offering it? If so, the informal “Pastries with the Pastors” group would love to have you join, starting Sunday, November 29th on Zoom. If you are interested or want more details, please email Pastor Jonathan (

Wednesday Hymn Sings for Advent and Christmas

On December 2, 9, 16th, and 23rd, we’ll be back on FACEBOOK LIVE at 6:30-7:15 pm, taking your music requests! Join a pastor and a pianist to sing our way through the season.

Outdoor Nativity with Live Animals

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

If you are looking for a fun and meaningful way to celebrate the birth of Jesus, this event is for you! Visit our outdoor nativity with live animals on December 9th, 2020 from 5pm to 7pm on 3rd Avenue around Circle Drive of St. Paul’s UMC.

Christmas Dinner in a Box

December 20, 2020
To sign up, call 211 by December 15.

While gathering for our annual Christmas Eve Meal will not be possible this year, we still want to make sure families and individuals have all the fixings for a Christmas feast! There are two options to receive a box for your family: pick it up from St. Paul’s between 12:00-1:00 pm on Sunday, December 20th or have a box delivered to your home during the same time. Both methods will be contactless.

Blue Christmas

Monday, December 21, 2020

The Christmas season this year may not be full of cheer and festivity for everyone. If that is true for you, join us for a brief Blue Christmas service in the parking lot on December 21st at 7:00 pm as we admit everything is not okay, and find hope in the midst of it all anyway.

Christmas Eve Worship

December 24, 2020, Facebook LIVE – 7:00-8:00 pm

We Believe, Even Now On this night, we return to the story of Jesus’ birth as it is told in the Gospel of Luke. We so desire to believe in the good news of the messengers; do not be afraid. With music and light, we worship this night!

Christmas Eve Light to the World Event

December 24, 2020 - 8:30 pm

What if everyone in your neighborhood helped fill the night with music and light? Our Christmas Eve worship leaders will step outside onto our 3rd Avenue steps at 8:30 pm, with  music and light! Join us virtually from your own doorway or window, with your own candles and a song. We’ll share through Facebook LIVE and invite you to take a photo of your family to share back with us. More details to come!

Your Home, Your Sanctuary

Directions for the Easiest-ever Luminaries

  1. Match up one piece of wax paper with one piece of tissue paper.  It’s personal preference of which piece lays on top.
  2. Fold both pieces “almost” in half, so that there is about an inch remaining. 
  3. Next, bring up the folded section of paper to about an inch below where you left the bottom of the sheet in the previous step.
  4. Repeat the previous step with the next fold.
  5. With your fold layers facing outward, create a cylinder by bringing each side of the wax paper together and nesting one end within the folds.
  6. Pop an electronic tea light in there, and you’re ready to go!  (Do NOT use any flame with these luminaries!)

Directions for the “Even When” Ornament

  1. Cut the decorative paper into strips (about 1/4 inch). 
  2. Spend some reflection time on your own faith.  Consider when you have been tested to believe in God, when it may have been easier to give up.  Write down on the strips of paper some examples of when you Believe Even When….
  3. Remove the silver top of the ornament.
  4. Wrap a strip of paper around a pencil, with the writing on the inside.  It should create a spiral or spring effect.
  5. Place the pencil (with the strip of paper) in the ornament.  Gently pull the pencil out, leaving the paper to show through the ornament.  Repeat for all of the decorative strips of paper, and replace the top of the ornament.
  6. Gently peel off the white backing of the “Even when” wording and place on your ornament.  Make sure that all of the lettering is pressed down securely on the ornament.
  7. Slowly peel off the clear plastic from the lettering.

    St. Paul's United Methodist Church
    1340 3rd Ave SE
    Cedar Rapids, IA 52403


    Office Hours:
    Monday-Thursday | 8:00 am-5:00 pm
    Friday | 8:00 am -12:00 pm 


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