November 16, 2021 – Advent this year

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Pastor Jen is taking a very brief working retreat to prepare for Advent, which begins Sunday, Nov. 28. This year, our Advent theme “The Inn” is an invitation to explore the art of making room—both physically and spiritually—to “house the holy.” The below description is adapted from materials by series creator, Marcia McFee. See the UCU notes section for more information about an accompanying “sharing series” (Come Home for Christmas) to be held on Wednesday evenings, beginning Dec. 1.

The Innkeeper is a figure of our imaginations. Not referenced in the sacred texts, we assume that since Luke said there was an “inn,” then there must have been an “innkeeper.” Often our stories cast him in a negative light, someone who banished a pregnant woman to where the animals were kept. But what if he was truly someone who saw a problem and thought “outside the box” to figure out where Mary could have her child? Instead of thinking “there’s nowhere,” he said to himself first, “there has to be somewhere.”

This worship series was inspired by churches who are asking these kinds of questions, seeking to transform their property assets into solutions for various community needs and strengthen their own viability in the process. Some are offering affordable office space to non-profits that work to alleviate society’s problems, some are creating affordable housing, some after-school help, some food distribution. No one church can solve everything, but each one can do something, just like the innkeeper. Housing the holy work of Divine Love can happen in many ways.