Midweek Update
December 6, 2023
Pastor Alex updates us from the CFUMC Chapel, where the Blue Christmas Service will be held tonight, December 6th, at 6:30 pm. Join us for a more reflective service, where we will have the chance to acknowledge that Christmas isn't always bright and cheery for everyone. Additionally, we're introduced to two new staff members: our facilities manager, Keith Davis, and our administrative assistant, Jennifer Morris! Welcome!
Happening this Week
Pick Up Your Advent Devotionals!
The 2023 Advent Devotionals are printed and ready to be taken home! Stop by the Welcome Center to pick up your copy of the devotional, which has short stories, scriptures, and prayers to help guide and inspire your reflections this Advent Season. 
Questions? Contact Carolyn McGee
Blue Christmas Service
Wednesday, December 6th, at 6:30 pm
Every emotion of the Christmas season is not of the holly, jolly variety. Even Elvis knew that, for many of us, the gold and glitter hangs side by side with the blue and even blah.
Charlottesville First is offering a quieter, reflective service that recognizes all the ways God speaks to all the parts of us this time of year. Our Blue Christmas service is Wednesday, December 6th, at 6:30 pm in the 2nd floor Chapel. 
Toy Lift Charities Volunteering
Saturday, December 9th, 4:00-7:00 pm
Join Fred Miller on Saturday, December 9th at the old Sears building at Fashion Square to help with the Toy Lift to benefit children at the Greer School! Toy Lift Charities are volunteer-run, and they work closely with Charlottesville schools to identify families that could use a little extra help making Christmas magical. 
Sign up to volunteer at, or find them on Facebook at Toy Lift Charlottesville. 
C'ville Youth Collective
Sunday, December 10th, 6:00-7:30 pm
We'll be gathering together at Ivy Creek UMC to enjoy a delicious meal, along with an Escape Room and other activities! Invite your friends to share the fun!
Poinsettias for Purchase
By December 12th
If you are interested in purchasing a poinsettia for the sanctuary in honor or memory of a loved one, please contact Carolyn McGee to be included in worship.
Poinsettias are $10 each. Please include the name of your loved one when contacting Carolyn. They will be displayed starting December 17th, so be sure to make your purchase by December 12th! 
December One Thing Ministry
Our December One Thing Ministry will benefit the UVA Stocking Project! Let's fill these stockings with the following items:
  • Art supplies or kits
  • Slippers or socks that are soft, cheerful, and festive
  • Stocking hats or holiday hats
  • Gloves that are warm and festive
  • Holiday window decorations, like sun catchers and mini light strands
  • Decks of cards or card games
  • Mini candy canes
  • Ornaments
  • Small stuffed animals
  • Coloring books and colored pencils
  • Word searches, crossword puzzles, sudoku games
  • Pencils with erasers
  • Journals without wire
  • Small games
  • Flavored ChapStick or lip balm
2023 Rake-a-Thon Results
Thanks to all of this year's wonderful volunteers, the 2023 Habitat for Humanity Rake-a-Thon raised over $15,000! This money will go toward Habitat for Humanity's goal of affordable housing, and it will create a community of permanent, sustainable housing.
Way to Love the Whole City, Love the City Whole, and Start Right Here!
Let's Recognize the Reconstruction Volunteers!
Dave Wheatley traveled with some other carpenter angels to Fort Myers, Florida this past Saturday and Sunday to reconstruct and repair a house that was demolished in the last hurricane. Please note the quote on the shirt of one of the builders:
"The place God calls you to is the place where deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet." - Frederick Buchner
Coming Soon
Advent Season Events Calendar
Sunday, December 3rd, 10:00 am: First Sunday of Advent Worship
Wednesday, December 6th, 6:30 pm: Blue Christmas in the Chapel
Sunday, December 10th, 10:00 am: Magnify Choral Worship "Stranger at the Door"
Sunday, December 17th:
  • 10:00 am: Third Sunday of Advent Worship
  • 11:30 am: Round the Table Carol Sing and Potluck Lunch
Sunday, December 24th: 
  • 10:00 am: Fourth Sunday of Advent, Christmas Eve Morning Worship
  • 7:00 pm: Christmas Eve Family Candlelight Service
  • 11:00 pm: Christmas Eve Candlelight Service 
Hiking Group Meeting
Tuesday, December 12th at 10:00 am
The CFUMC Hiking Group is meeting to decide on locations for future adventures! If you want to attend and make your suggestions, join us on Tuesday, December 12th at 10:00 am at CFUMC. 
Contact Lara Upton or Dave Wheatley at for more information.
Raise Some Dough for FUMP
Wednesday, December 13th, 4:00-8:00 pm
Come out to help support the First United Methodist Preschool by enjoying a meal at the Panera Bread located at 405 Merchant Walk Square, Charlottesville!
20% of sales will be donated to FUMP if you use the code "FUND4U" when you check out online, in the Panera App, or at the kiosk in the restaurant. You'll get to enjoy a delicious meal while the preschool benefits from a portion of the proceeds!
Committal Service for Eileen Moyer
Thursday, December 14th, at 2:00 pm
Eileen Moyer, 96, long-time member of Charlottesville First UMC, entered the church triumphant on Monday, December 4th. Eileen was a stalwart member of the choir and volunteered in the church office.
Pastor Alex will officiate at a committal service at Monticello Memory Gardens at 2:00 pm on Thursday, December 14th. 
Potluck and Round-the-Table Carol Sing
Sunday, December 17th, following 10:00 am worship
Don't miss out on joyful carol singing and wonderful fried chicken! Please bring a side dish or a dessert to share at our meal!
Help with GSAC PACEM Hosting
Saturday, December 23rd - Saturday, January 6th
In response to an upset to the PACEM hosting schedule, Good Shepherd Anglican Church (GSAC) has committed to hosting PACEM at Hinton Avenue starting on December 23rd. GSAC is the start-up congregation that is in the process of purchasing the Hinton Avenue facility. 
Several GSAC Members volunteered during CFUMC's hosting of PACEM, and we would like to return the favor by volunteering to lend a hand and to spread the word of GSAC's act of mercy. 
We are asking two things: first, follow the links below and sign up to volunteer. Second, forward this email to people and organizations you know encouraging them to volunteer. 
New Year's Eve Casual Worship
Sunday, December 31st, at 10:00 am
Let's gather for a casual worship - maybe even in our ugly Christmas sweaters - with caroling and the Word!
Learning & Fellowship
Advent Devotional Now Available
We're excited to share the Advent Devotional for the 2023 Advent Season with you! Members and friends of CFUMC have penned their reflections on this year's theme: Stranger at the Door. We invite you to use this devotional to guide your thoughts, prayers, and studies this Advent Season so that our hearts may be open to whatever the stranger at the door might bring.
Click here to access the devotional, or find it under the Worship tab of our website
Cruise Study of Paul
Pastor Alex, along with the Rev. Ben Rigsby, is planning a study cruise of the life of Paul in October 2024. The 7-day cruise begins in Rome and concludes in Athens with stops in Naples, Sicily, Santorini, Ephesus, and Mykonos.
If you are interested, please contact Pastor Alex.
Faith Seekers Class 
Sundays at 8:45 am
Come join this adult class in room 208 at 8:45 on Sunday mornings. We will be discussing Pastor Alex Joyner's book, "A Space for Peace in the Holy Land: Listening to the Modern Israel and Palestine". It explores the background to the current conflict and profiles Israeli Jews and Palestinians who are working for peace.
The e-book is available on Amazon for $4.99, and it is available for free for Kindle Unlimited. 
For more details contact Kathy Berlin

Faith Explorers

Sundays at 11:15 am

The Faith Explorers class (Room 308 at 11:15) is reading Diana Butler Bass’s book, Christianity After Religion: The End of Church and the Birth of a New Spiritual Awakening. The book is about introducing people to shifting religious demographics and to propose how communities of faith might rethink some basic issues about their identity, practices, and theology.  The thesis is that certain forms of “religion” always end, often challenged by emerging cultural forms of spiritual experience and engagement, and that such endings are usually the beginning of some new and unexpected awakening.

The Adult Fellowship Group invites you to join us

Sundays at 11:15 am in Room 208 


This class recently began a new study entitled: “Questions God Asks” from the Life Guide Series (Larsen and Larsen, authors). 


The book is available through Amazon, or you can contact Carolyn McGee to obtain one.  


So… grab your coffee and goodies from the Portico Café and come on in! 


All are welcome! Questions? Contact Pat Graham.

Men’s Bible Study!
Tuesdays at 8:00 am
Meeting at Wegmans at Fifth Street Station, we are continuing with fellowship and a concentrated study. All men of every age are invited.
For questions or more information… contact Jim Berlin.
Interested in Reading?
Pastor Alex's book,  A Space for Peace in the Holy Land: Listening to Modern Israel and Palestine, can be purchased as an e-book on Amazon for $4.99. 
If you are not a Kindle reader, simply purchase the book as if you were (so that the publisher will be paid) and we will print a physical copy for you here in the church office.
Contact Carolyn McGee for more information. 
Continuing Opportunities
Estimate of Giving Card
If you think you missed your chance to contribute to our missions and ministries after Consecration Sunday, it's not too late! 
You can access the Estimate of Giving Card on the Pledge to CFUMC page on our website - just click here. You can also email with the information for your pledge.
We hope you will continue giving through the church. Your pledges will help CFUMC in our mission to love the whole city, love the city whole, and start it right here!
The Handbell Ensemble
Monday evenings
Will resume rehearsals on Monday evenings beginning on November 13th, with rehearsals also on 11/27, 12/4, and 12/11 from 6:00-7:00 pm in the Handbell Room on the third floor. 
The Advent musical offering date will be Sunday, December 17th.
Christmas Magnify Choir 
Tuesdays at 7:00 pm
Rehearsals have begun and will continue on Tuesday evenings at 7:00 pm. This is a great short-term commitment for anyone who loves to sing!
Choir members have been hard at work preparing for the Magnify Choral Worship, which is happening this Sunday!
Enjoying the food and fellowship at Portico Café after worship?
Thanks to those who recently gave monetary contributions for Portico Cafe - we have enough funds for coffee and creamer for the next couple of months, so you won't see the donation jar any time soon!
We will continue to host Portico Cafe outdoors as long as the temperature is above 50 degrees and not raining. Otherwise, it will be held in the Gathering Space. Look for hot chocolate and tea to be offered in December, along with coffee and all the goodies so many of you generously provide. 
Email Lisa Hanrahan if you want to sign up to bring treats. A sign up sheet is also available by the coffee area. The success of Portico Café depends on the generosity of church members to help or contribute food!
Rainy Day Blues? 
“Love the City” umbrellas will be left at the Front and Welcome Center entrances for all to borrow and then return on rainy days!
If you would like to purchase an umbrella to support our Nurture Ministries and our CFUMC Vision of  “Love the City," they are $20. Put “umbrella” in the memo line of your check.
The Quiet Center
Sundays at 11:15 in the Chapel
The Quiet Center is an after-church gathering of, and for, anyone who wants to know more about grief’s journey. The sessions are “stand alone,” to join anytime and as often as you wish, to explore the many faces of grief and to share with each other our time, our experiences, our presence and our prayers.
If you have any questions, contact Rev. John at 703-887-7305 or at
Congregational Prayer Time
Now Tuesdays at 12:00 pm on Zoom
All are welcome to join the Zoom Meeting:
Meeting ID: 882 7977 8844
Passcode: 968327
If you are interested in praying for our church and community, be in touch with Carolyn McGee for the link.
Choir Rehearsal
Tuesdays from 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Charlottesville was recently named one of "The 15 Happiest Places to Live in the U.S." by Outside. Visit the article here and scroll down to the 5th photo to see a beautiful view of the downtown area, including the First UMC steeple, representing the whole city. 
New Gallery Artist: Mae Stoll
There is new art being displayed in our upstairs gallery by local artist Mae Stoll! She is celebrating the end of her third year of painting and is excited to share this small sampling of her work with us.
She has had an exciting year of participating in multiple exhibitions and art shows, and of course, creating new work. After a late-in-life art “awakening”, she has embraced an “eclectic” style, and still mostly fascinated by landscapes.
Another passion of hers is making lovely wire-wrapped jewelry. These can be seen, along with all her paintings, on her website: Please do not hesitate to get in touch at

Clothes Closet

Donations to Hinton Ave UMC clothes closet: 
Hours of operation: Tuesdays from 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
We are looking for children to adult sizes, spring/summer clothing.  Please make sure the clothing is gently used, clean, stain-free, and in good repair. Also accept some household items (e.g., sheets, towels, small appliances, dishes, pans). 
Assistance for Ukraine

UMCOR International Disaster Response and Recovery, Advance #982450, is collecting funds for humanitarian assistance.
You can donate directly online or designate "Ukraine relief" on your checks made out to CFUMC.

Prayer Quilt Ministry


Contact Teri Guertler if you need a prayer quilt for someone going through a difficult time, or if you would like to help in the creation of the prayer quilts. No experience necessary.
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