Journeying to Bethlehem from Nassau & Vandeventer

Everyone – kids and adults — will be in Biblical costume on Sunday, December 4, 4 to 5:30 p.m., when the social hall at Princeton United Methodist Church will be transformed into a Bethlehem Marketplace.
How can everyone be in costume? Must you wear one to attend? No. But if you have something from home, you’ll add to the festivities. Or you can patronize the “Bethlehem Tailor” (the church’s extensive costume closet) and borrow one. 
As part of the “Journey to Bethlehem” theme for Advent family night, Laura Felten and Susan Lidstone have created tented booths for crafts and recruited such craftspeople as the weaver, the candlemaker, the fishmonger, the carpenter, and the potter. 
Other personalities you’ll meet — the money changer, the portrait painter, the census taker, storytellers-at-the-well, and even the tax collector. Zorba’s Grill will provide snacks that Mary and Joseph might have enjoyed. 
The marketplace will run from 4 to 5 p.m. and from 5 to 5:30 p.m. everyone will sing Christmas carols, led by Karen Zumbrunn. It’s all free and anyone, all ages, may attend. Call 609-924-2613 on Friday to make a reservation or email advent-night@princetonumc.org 
Princeton United Methodist Church is located at the corner of Nassau Street & Vandeventer Avenue (7 Vandeventer). Enter from the Park Placelot. Parking is free on Sundays. 
That “extensive costume closet” will be tapped again on Sunday, December 11 at 5 p.m., when the PUMC Sunday School and Middle School Choir presents “A Gift for the Holy Child,” directed by Yvonne Macdonald and Malisa Langdon. The sheep, lamb, cow, and other animal costumes — worn by the preschoolers — are always adorable.

On Sunday, December 18, the combined choirs — chancel, high school, and handbell — will offer a  evening of drama and traditional carols, directed by Hyosang Park.

For the Winter Solstice, a Longest Night Service — for those who might celebrate this year in a minor key — will be Thursday, December 22, at 7:30 p.m. (Allow time to park, as there is a big event at the University Chapel that night.) 

Advent services are Saturdays at 5 p.m. and Sundays at 9:30 and 11 a.m. On Christmas Eve, Saturday, December 24, there will be a family service at 6 p,m. and the traditional candlelight Service of Lessons and Carols will be at 8 p.m. On Christmas Day, kids are invited to come in their pjs, and even bring one of their gifts, for one service at 10 a.m. Rumor is that there will be a red-suited gentleman in attendance. New Year’s Day will also have one 10 a.m. service and the regular schedule resumes January 7 and 8. 
Here’s my wish for a blessed December. No matter what your celebration’s name, take time to enjoy it!
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