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Advent is a season of waiting. We wait expectantly for the Christ Child to come again. In our chaotic world and lives, we lament our condition and long for God to set things right, to make us better. We pray and watch for signs of God’s presence. We wait, trusting something wonderful is about to happen.

Advent is a season of preparation; we prepare in joyful anticipation for the Christ child to be born anew in our world and in our hearts. We do all we can to prepare so we are open and ready. We make space for God. We believe something is happening in our world, something is taking shape in our lives, something large, light-filled, and life-giving. Even in December’s lengthening darkness, this seed of joyful hope grows within us.

Let us Wait in Hope together!

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Advent “Pause and Reflect” Prayers

With the excitement, anticipation, and “busyness” of Christmas, it can be easy to overlook Advent, the season of preparation for the soul. Christmas can also be a difficult time of year that holds wearying emotions and feelings of loneliness or sadness. Wherever we find ourselves in this spectrum, God is with us. Take time each day to pause, reflect, pray, and listen to God’s voice by visiting our Advent page at to access daily Advent prayers.

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Discover Ways to Give This Holiday Season

This holiday season, discover the joy of giving! Visit our Volunteer webpage and find the perfect avenue to make a meaningful difference this festive season. Whether it’s lending a helping hand at local events, contributing to charitable causes, or joining initiatives that support those in need, there are countless ways to give back to brighten someone’s holiday!

1st Sunday Advent

December 3: First Sunday of Advent: Beware, Keep Alert, 8:45 & 10AM Worship

The phrase “Beware, Keep Alert” serves as a gentle but urgent reminder, encouraging us to stay awake and be vigilant, not only in waiting for Christ’s return, but also in our daily lives.

We will participate in the Sacrament of Communion, lighting the candle of Hope at both services. At our 8:45 service, we’ll sing simple songs and let the kids take on the “jobs” usually held by grownups, and Jeff Kust (guitar) and Lauren Reynolds (vocalist) will provide beautiful music. At the 10AM service, we will listen as the Chancel Choir performs music by Chicago composers Richard Proulx and Carl Schalk.

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December 3: Wreath-Making, 9–12PM in Plymouth Hall

Kick off the season by making an Advent wreath to observe the traditions of Advent at home. Wreath-making will be available after both services. Treats will be served. Please be sure to click below to register for this popular event:

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December 7: Woman’s Society General Meeting at Plymouth Place at 12:30PM

Gather with friends, enjoy a cookie, and listen to Blue Lexi, featuring our very own First Congo friends Stephanie King-Myers, Dan Harps, and Jeff Kust. Familiar tunes and the band’s live performance will fill the air with warmth and nostalgia.

2nd Sunday Advent

December 10: Second Sunday of Advent: A Messenger Brings Good News, 8:45 & 10AM Worship

We come together in worship where we relight the candle of Hope and light our second candle representing Peace. As we Wait in Hope, we hear the prophet Isaiah proclaim the beginning of the good news of Jesus’ arrival with John the Baptist paving the way. Our Chancel Choir will sing music both in English and Spanish.

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December 10: Gifts of Hope Alternative Market, 9:30–12:30PM in Plymouth Hall

Gifts of Hope is an Alternative Gift Market where we join in fellowship and have the opportunity to make a contribution to our Mission Partners. The gifts we buy help the organizations secure supplies and support the services they provide.

For more information, click below:


December 10: PF – San Lucas UCC Christmas Lunch, 1–3:30PM

Join Plymouth Fellowship as they host a lunch for the people of Humboldt Park experiencing homelessness and hunger this Advent season! Contact Mike Tilden at for details or to sign up.

December 10: Words & Music, 5PM in Plymouth Hall

This year the All in Band will perform grown up Christmas songs and feature stories about the season! All are welcome!


DEADLINE: Monday, Dec. 11, 2022

To purchase a Christmas poinsettia ($17.00 each) to decorate the altar at Christmas, please click below to download and print an order form or to order online via Realm.

WE ALSO NEED VOLUNTEERS to deliver poinsettias on Dec. 25. If interested, please indicate it on the printed form or email Meredith.

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December 13: Taizé service in the Chapel, 7PM

Take a break from the frenetic pace of the season and join us for a quiet service of scripture, song, candlelight and prayer.

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December 15: Red Cross Blood Drive in Plymouth Hall, 12–5PM

Give a gift that will save a life! Visit or call 1-800-RED-CROSS for an appointment. Contact Faith Community Nurse Jean Larson MSN, RN at  with questions.

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December 16: “Crammin’ at Congo” in Plymouth Hall, 2–10PM

Quiet spaces will be set aside for study and peer tutoring for high school finals. Snacks and drinks will be available as well as occasional study breaks that may include 15 minutes of yoga or meditation/relaxation activities. Open to anyone getting ready for final exams!

3rd Sunday Advent

December 17: Third Sunday of Advent: Anticipating the Light, 8:45 & 10AM Worship

Waiting in Hope: Anticipating the Light is a worship experience that captures the essence of the Advent season. Together, we will anticipate the joy that comes with the arrival of Christ’s light. May we all be inspired to carry this message of hopeful anticipation to the shadowy places in our world. Our amazing bell choirs will be featured.

December 17: Annual PF Christmas Party, 3-5PM

The high school youth group has its annual Christmas party!

December 17: Live Nativity on the Front Lawn, 3:30PM & Carols & Candles at 4PM

Our live nativity tradition continues starting at 3:30PM and — yes! — you will be able to pet the animals. At 4PM, we’ll sing Christmas carols accompanied by a brass ensemble and a volunteer wind band. Email Ray Klemchuk at if you’d like to be a part of the instrumental ensemble on any wind instrument. The Holy Family, including Baby Jesus, are expected to arrive at 5PM. Hot cocoa will be available to keep us warm and toasty! Invite a friend or neighbor to this celebration — the whole community can come celebrate the true spirit of Christmas!

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December 21: Longest Night Labyrinth Walk with Harpist in Plymouth Hall, 6:30–9PM

This unique, contemplative event takes place during the winter solstice, the longest night of the year, offering participants a serene, meditative experience as they walk the labyrinth illuminated by the soft glow of candlelight, accompanied by the soothing melodies of a harp.

4th Sunday Advent

December 24: Fourth Sunday of Advent: Here Am I, Single Worship Service, 10AM

The Advent wreath will be brightly lit as we celebrate the season of Hope, Peace, Joy & Love. This morning, we will Wait in Hope as we remember Mary’s call and her courageous answer, “Here Am I!”  NOTE: There will be no Sunday school but the nursery will be available.

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December 24: All-Ages Worship & Christmas Pageant, 3:30 & 5PM

The children and youth of our church will lead our all-ages, kid-friendly, and joy-forward early services. The All-In band will lead the congregation in singing our favorite carols, and a Christmas Pageant entitled “Don’t Freak Out!” will whimsically retell the story of Christ’s birth. If you are interested in helping with this ministry, click below to sign up.

Traditional Christmas Eve Worship service, 8:30PM & 10PM: Hope Arrives!

A timeless experience with the Chancel Choir and brass ensemble, this traditional service reminds us of the enduring message of hope, love, and salvation that Christmas represents. The deep traditions of faith resonate, encapsulating the essence of the holiday season.


December 25 – Christmas Day: Poinsettias Ministry in the Sanctuary, 11AM

A heartwarming and thoughtful initiative where volunteers personally deliver poinsettia plants to the homes or care facilities of individuals who need some extra Christmas Cheer. The visits are a time for conversation, connection, and sharing the joy of the season. If you’re interested in this ministry, please email Meredith.

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December 31: Single Worship in the Sanctuary, 10AM

There is no Sunday school but the nursery is available.

*These services will be live-streamed on The First Congregational Church of Western Springs YouTube channel:

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