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Pastor's Corner

2023 Advent Season

For Advent Harbor continues with A Sanctified Art's beautifully themed curriculum to hold us through the holiday season.

| A Sanctified Art LLC |

The excerpt below is from A Sanctified Art's introduction to the series we will be studying Sunday, November 26th - Sunday, January 14th.

How we developed this Advent series

During our planning for Advent, we felt called to depart from the lectionary and create another narrative-driven series. In this series, we are paying close attention to how the Gospel of Luke begins the story of Jesus: by interweaving Christ’s birth with the parallel story of Elizabeth, Zechariah, and John the Baptist. As we looked closely at both of

these birth narratives told side by side, we saw the full scope of human emotions: isolation, fear, disbelief, as well as connection, trust, and joy. We acknowledged that the Christmas season is often an emotionally-charged time when we feel many things deeply—sometimes all at once. Many experience emotional dissonance in the midst of

joy-filled carols and festivities.

As we studied the scriptures, we asked out loud, “What is the message we will need to hear this season?” Sarah Speed, one of our founding creative partners, referenced a poem she had written a few years ago titled, “How does a weary world rejoice?” In it, she lists many seemingly mundane actions that fill our days: stretching your body awake, looking at the night sky, making room on the subway, helping a neighbor on the street, and so on. In the last stanza, she concludes:

How does a weary world rejoice?

I would guess

soul by soul

and day by day.

But if you ask me,

I bet most of it counts.

After Sarah read her poem aloud, we heard the answer to our question: we need to hear that it all counts. We need to acknowledge the weariness of our world while also seeking real and daily moments of joy. We need to remember that all of life can be a prayer.

And so, we found ourselves compelled by the question Sarah’s poem poses: How does a weary world rejoice? In each week of our series, we respond to this question with a statement inspired by our scriptures. These texts bring us into a space of possibility; in them, we find rhythms for rejoicing, even in the midst of difficult circumstances. Each

weekly sub-theme is a “we” statement because joy is deeply relational and rooted in the fact that we belong to God. As we move through our series, we hope to create space for acknowledging the weariness of our world while celebrating God’s closeness with great joy.

Guide developed by Rev. Lisle Gwynn Garrity | A Sanctified Art LLC |


Harbor's Advent Events


Hanging of the Greens

We are excited to invite you to our annual Hanging of the Greens service on Sunday, November 26 at 10 am. This service will be filled with the music of the season and will introduce us to our Advent theme of How does a weary world rejoice? Instead of a sermon this week, we will hear from three of our members who will respond to the theme in their own way. We hope you will look forward to hearing from Anabel Quintanilla, Caroline Kaufmann, and Rev. Dr. Maria French who have prepared some thoughts in response to our theme. And lastly, you won’t want to miss our annual tree decorating which will happen during our worship together. Enjoy some photos from last year below.

Advent Festival

On December 9 @ 5:30pm we will open our sanctuary doors to transport us into a beautiful and mystical world of holiday joy and thanksgiving. This year we are inviting our friends and partners in addition to our community. We hope you will join us and consider decorating a table or helping to provide part of our pasta dinner. RSVP with the link provided, and sign up to help with the event!

2022 Advent Festival

Hot Chocolate Chats

Join us on Sunday, December 3 and Sunday December 17 for our annual Hot Chocolate Chats. This year you will be invited into conversation with some of our members and you will also enjoy hot chocolate and snacks.

Christmas Eve Service

We know it is Christmas Eve when the pathways to our sanctuary are lit by candles in mason jars! Join us at 5pm for a beautiful evening of music, poetry, reflection and of course candlelight! Our service will conclude by 6:30pm so you will still have time to have a nice dinner and get ready to welcome Santa to your homes.

La Tamalada Fundraiser

Every year on Three Kings Day (this year we are celebrating on January 7), we enjoy Kings Cake that Pastor Janette brings to us. And someone always finds the baby Jesus in the cake. Traditionally, the person who finds baby Jesus will host a Tamalada for the community. This year, we are blessed to have our own Anabel Quintanilla join us to help us learn how to make tamales, salsas, rice, and beans! She will teach us the art of tamales on Friday and Saturday (January 12 and 13) and then on Sunday, January 14, we will host our very first Tamalada. This will be a joyful event for all. We hope everyone can join and we are hoping to raise some funds for our Blue Theology program. A suggested donation is $20 per plate, but please know that we appreciate whatever your finances allow you to share.

PSWR Winter Camp

It’s hard to believe that Winter Camp is just around the corner! Most of our junior high and high school youth are already registered for this fun and relaxing weekend in the mountains! This year, Pastor Sadie and Pastor Ryan will be directing the junior high camp and Pastor Janette will be directing the high school camp. What a gift to be able to show up for not only our own growing youth group, but also for our regional youth!

We need counselors to staff this camp and we would love to bring along as many Harbor members as we can. If you are interested in counseling this event, please talk to one of our pastors right away and they will answer any questions you may have.

Read and view photos from two of our young adults about their camp counseling experience below:

Sofia Chavéz and Gabriella Earnhart

Reflection from Sofia Chavéz (2023 Winter & Summer Camp Counselor)

Camp was a great way for me to step out of my comfort zone and get closer to God. I have been a counselor before, but with a different age group and it was challenging yet rewarding working with mini-camp and getting to be apart making the experience magical for the kids.

Photos shared from Gabriella Earnhart (2023 Summer Camp Counselor)


Community Call


Holiday Greens Fundraiser

From Caroline C. Kaufmann

If by chance you think you would enjoy festive winter holiday greens in your home or work this December, please consider buying them through Hazel's school as a fundraiser. I'm very involved at her school and feel passionate for the pedagogy. The county recently granted our petition for a TK through 12th grade charter making us the first public Waldorf TK through 12th grade charter School in the nation!

Please use the link below to buy your winter greens. They are always fresh and beautiful and they would be delivered directly to you. Thank you so much for considering this request!


Luminary Mason Jar Call

Many of us at Harbor are used to seeing our walkway aglow with candlelight each Christmas Eve. We are asking for donated glass, transparent jars beginning now so we can truly set the mood for our special service.

Bring any jars you have available each week to the back table near the tithes and offering plate where they will be collected each week. Thank you!



Thank you for reading our 2023 Advent Newsletter!

If you were reading in the recommended order, this is the last article.

If you would like to read more about Harbor, please feel free to explore other posts on our main Blog page.



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