Although we drive past the Veradale United Church of Christ fairly regularly, it didn’t register on our project radar until earlier this year, when we read an article in the local paper about their garden and its supply of produce to the local food bank. Another article, this one about the pastor, Linda Crowe, mentions that she writes a Thanksgiving story and a Christmas story each year. We were in attendance this morning for the latter, which was about a Christmas pageant where the little kids were exasperating the teens who were organizing (“I’m not wearing a dress!”), and, as the teens reflected, church was the place where they were loved despite their exasperating ways, and where they were frequently told they were beloved children of God.
The service has three parts:
We Gather to Praise God (where there was music, the lighting of the second Advent candle, and prayers.
We Listen to God’s Word (where there was reading of the scripture (Psalm 85: 1-2 and 8-13, and Isaiah 40: 1-11 as well a children’s sermon, and the main sermon (which was the story today).
We Act to Show God’s Love (where there were sharing of joys and concerns, corporate prayer, the offertory, hymns, and the Benediction).
This afternoon, they were celebrating the 33rd Annual Plum Pudding Festival, and we were jovially invited by no fewer than five people to attend, and to return to the church. The Veradale UCC was one of the churches we’ve visited this year that excelled in greeting us.