A Flurry of Activity

Christmas is coming! It feels safe to admit that I’m listening to Christmas music now that Thanksgiving is over. I’m not ready for full-on Christmas radio all the time, but my favorites playing in my office are the perfect backdrop for my work. I’m beginning to see more Christmas lights on our neighbors’ homes, and even on some cars I pass on the road. I keep seeing my favorite treats in the stores, distracting me from healthy eating. It’s truly the beginning of the most wonderful time of the year.

St. Mark’s is going to be busy these next few weeks. Check out the Messenger for all the Advent happenings or pick up a list on Sunday to put on your fridge. We have a Children’s event, a cantata, a unique Christmas play, a movie night with Sanctuary UMC, a Longest Night Service, and more. We have Christmas Eve services (11 a.m., 4 p.m., 8 p.m., and 10 p.m.) and a Christmas Day service (10 a.m.). We will start the New Year with our usual worship times as we take part in a version of Wesley’s Covenant Renewal Service, where we make our own resolutions to live a faith-filled life. I’m tired thinking about it all, but I’m also excited about it. There are so many times and spaces that we have to bring a friend, to invite our neighbors, to practice radical hospitality. We have the chance to make someone feel welcome and feel at home among us.

In the midst of it all, I want to issue the reminder that the flu / RSV / COVID season is in full swing. One United Methodist Church in the Phoenix area has canceled in-person worship the last two weeks in a row because of an outbreak of COVID among its congregation and staff. Closer to home, I’ve lost count of how many people I know who have COVID now, who have some other illness, or who have just gotten over an illness. We have a loving community, but we don’t want to share our illnesses! Please practice loving one another by staying home if you are sick. Consider masking up again as another loving practice, as we care for “the least of these among you” who might be immunocompromised but want to worship in person. Quite frankly, I encourage you to mask up anytime we are in a large gathering together so we all stay healthy and can enjoy all the festivities of this Advent and Christmas season.

What are you looking forward to? Better yet, who can you invite to your favorite event this month?

I pray that this season is indeed wonderful!
See you soon,
Pastor Lynn


  • 8:30 a.m. Traditional service in Sanctuary and child care in Rm 15
  • 10 a.m. Traditional service in Sanctuary and child care in Rm 15
  • 10 a.m. Youth and children’s Sunday School and child care (except fifth Sundays)
  • 10 a.m. Livestream premieres on YouTube and Website

To access our livestream service:

  • From the main menu on our website click “Worship.”  -OR-
  • Go to YouTube and search for UMC St. Mark’s Oro Valley or use this link.