Advent – December

Our congregation is in the midst of a transition as we search and look forward to our Pastor Nominating Committee finding a new pastor to lead our church. In the meantime, we are grateful to the many folks in our own congregation who are serving in a variety of ways to keep the ministries of the church vital. Below you will find a list of CHPC members who have volunteered to serve in the role of Pastor for the month of December:

December 2 – 8: Phil Lloyd Sidle                  December 9 – 15: Deborah Fortel

December 16 – 22: Carrie Bridgman              December 23 – 29: Gary Cook

December 30 – January 5: Jerry Van Marter

“For where two or three come together in my name, I am there with them.” (Matthew 18:20)


An Advent Reflection

by Jennifer Thalman Kepler, Co-Coordinator of Faith Formation

One of the things I noticed when Paul and I first moved to Louisville from the D.C. area was how late in the evening it stayed light in the summer and how on the shortest days of the year it didn’t get dark until almost 6:00. We had moved to the western edge of the Eastern Time zone and we didn’t realize there was such a difference.  Back home in Virginia, on the shortest days of the year, right around Christmas, it gets dark at 4:30 in the afternoon.  Paul used to have to leave school earlier than normal to get home to walk our dog before dark.   The darkness of winter really seemed to intrude on the day.  It added to the sense of waiting in the dark during Advent.

Advent is a time of waiting during a time of year when there is the most literal darkness.  It is a time of waiting for the light of God’s love to shine in the darkness of our lives and our world. This year this concept of waiting the dark is especially palpable for us at CHPC.  We have lost our beloved pastor of 17 years, we are in the midst of a stressful, even painful transition and we have no idea when our new pastor will come or who she or he or they will be.  We are a community waiting in the darkness of uncertainty.  On top of that, we are living through one of the most divisive times on our nation’s history.  The news is filled with stories of war, natural disasters, hatred and great human suffering.  Many of us experience this time as a deep darkness. Of course we are on edge, anxious and even scared sometimes.

This advent, the children will be learning about advent using the book, Look!: A Child’s Guide to Advent and Christmas, by Laura Alary. On page seven, Alary says this about Advent:

Long ago, the people of God huddled in the dark, waiting and watching for the light.  It was a time of deep sadness. Once they had lived happily in Jerusalem. But an army destroyed their city, their homes, their gardens, their holy places and carried the people far away across the desert. Everything they knew and loved was gone. All the color and light had seeped out of the world. But in the darkness, God whispered messaged of hope:

I will bring you home again.

When the ground is dark and cracked, as spring will bubble up.

From the dead stump, bright green leaves will grow.

On those who sit in deep darkness, light will shine.

So even though they could not see the way ahead, the people kept watching for the light.  I wonder if it was hard to hope?  Maybe they looked back and told stories about how God had been with them in the past.  Maybe that helped them wait, knowing they were not alone in the dark.

This quote really resonated with me as a member of CHPC in 2018. As we head into Advent this year, let’s listen for the messages of hope God is whispering to us.  Let’s consider other experiences we have had where we knew God was with us in a difficult time, collectively or as individuals. Let’s consider how can we can be a message of hope for someone else experiencing darkness this Advent.  Let’s wait in the darkness together knowing that light will shine.

– Jennifer Thalman Kepler

Advent Calendar of Events

Sunday, December 2

9:45 AM Intergenerational Advent Sunday School

11:00 AM Mark Barnes preaching

12:30 PM Youth Group Christmas shopping for UCHM

Sunday, December 9

9:45 AM Sunday School

11:00 AM Barbara Barnes preaching

12:15 Christmas potluck (HYH)

Monday, December 10

6:00 PM ELL Christmas Party (HYH)

Saturday, December 15

10:00 AM Men’s Breakfast in Henry Young Hall

6:00 PM El Tarasco – Guatemala Partnership Fundraiser

Sunday, December 16

9:45 AM Sunday School

11:00 AM Barbara Barnes preaching

12:30 Youth Group (HYH)

5:00 PM An evening of Christmas music in the Sanctuary, provided by friends and members of CHPC.

Wednesday, December 19

7:00 PM Taize “Blue Christmas” service of solace

Sunday, December 23

9:45 AM Sunday School

11:00 AM Mark Barnes preaching

No Youth Group

6:00 – 7:30 PM Christmas caroling around the neighborhood, with hot chocolate, cider and snacks (cookies!) afterward in HYH.

Monday, December 24

Office Closed

5:30 PM Christmas Eve service of candle lighting

Tuesday, December 25


“For unto us a child is born…”

Sunday, December 30

No Sunday School

11:00 AM Lewis Washington & Debbie Dierks lead worship in a celebration of Christmas-themed African-American spirituals.

Sunday, January 6

9:45 AM Sunday School

11:00 AM – A celebration of Epiphany with Molly Casteel preaching