Life in the Christian community has been patterned and shaped by the regular marking of time with Jesus for more than a thousand years. The holy moments of the Scriptures are lived out in baptism and the Lord’s Supper, to be sure, but Christian time is also lived out in the cycle of Jesus’ birth, death and resurrection. Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, Pentecost and Ordinary Time offer a sense of connection to the universal church and its liturgy, and a bit of traction for the Christian soul as it journeys with Jesus through a profound and timely celebration of his mission, message and method. Celebration of Jesus is the center of life at Wesley Church. All we do in mission and service springs from there.
The Season of Advent is the start of the church year. It begins on the Sunday that is four Sundays prior to Christmas Day. It is a time when we await with eagerness the birth of the Christ Child. It is a time to examine how the miracle of God’s coming to live with us can make us be more loving to others and less centered on our own comforts. It is a time to be aware that God has broken into human history. We are not alone.
We decorate the Atrium and Sanctuary with evergreens and poinsettias and wreaths and candles. We focus on what we can do for others. We choose how gifts can be directed to homes where money is limited. We celebrate with music from choirs and bells and brass and organ at our annual Christmas Vespers Service.
Christmas Eve is the gateway between Advent and Christmas. We plan for three Christmas Eve services: an early afternoon time for children and their families; an early evening candlelight service with the Ensemble music of guitar, piano, voice and drums; and a late evening Holy Communion candlelight service with organ and choir and hymns.
Christmas continues until January 6 the day of Epiphany or Three Kings Day. It is the day we celebrate the arrival of the Wise Ones, the Magi, who came to honor the baby Jesus with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh and to symbolize that his birth is for the whole world.
Services will be held on Christmas Eve at 4 p.m. (Children's Service); 7 p.m. (Contemporary Service); and 10 p.m. (Candlelight Service).
The name “lent” is a Germanic word, originally used to refer to the spring season generally. Over time, it replaced the Latin Quadragesima which means “forty days.” Lent lasts 40 days because, according to biblical accounts, Jesus went into the wilderness for forty days of fasting, meditation and reflections before beginning his ministry.
Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Easter Sunday. The Sundays during Lent are not counted as part of the 40 days.
Lent is a time for self-examination. Wesley Church offers studies, sessions or group activities that look carefully at how our faith journey can lead us closer to God and to following Jesus.
The last days of Lent – Holy Week – is when we reflect on the last week of Jesus’ life. From Palm Sunday through Holy Thursday’s Tenebrae Service, Good Friday’s Living Stations of the Cross, and an all day vigil in the Chapel on Holy Saturday, we anticipate Easter Sunday as the day of resurrection.
We celebrate the joy of Easter with three worship services and special Atrium hospitality all morning long. The early, early morning service we call the Empty Tomb Service. Our regular worship services at 9:00 am and at 11:00 am are filled with special music of our Ensemble of guitars, voices, piano and drums, and our Chancel Choir, Children’s Choir, our bell choirs, organ and brass.
50 days after Easter is the birthday of the church, when the apostles were gathered in one place and experienced the real presence of the holy Spirit and began to speak. Those who heard them were amazed to hear words in their own language!
Wesley Church celebrates Pentecost by celebrating the many languages that are spoken by our members, as they read the story from Acts 2, aloud together. We urge everyone to wear red and we bring red banners into the Sanctuary..
The birthday of the church is a significant time for our Young Inquirers Confirmation Class to take their membership vows before the entire congregation.