3908 Woodruff Ave., Long Beach, CA
At Cross Wood, United Church of Christ we are sponsoring a learning series this ADVENT season. It is a six week session meeting every Tuesday night starting on Tuesday, November 29, 2016 and going through Tuesday, January 3, 2017. Each week we will study a different aspect of the "manger scene." Our study will include worship songs of the season and a specific discussion each week. Bring your voice, open mind, a willingness to learn, ask questions and fellowship with a wonderful group of people.
The study is called CSI: Bethlehem (CSI = Christmas Story Investigated). The first week we will study the history of the manger scene and the two most prominent characters in it - Mary and Joseph. How did mangers become a part of church life and also part of our decorations of the season? Why does Mary often wear blue and or red clothing? Why does Joseph carry a staff? What does a halo mean? And that is only the first meeting!
The second meeting will reveal myths and meanings of the angels. What are angels? Why do some carry musical instruments? Why do they have wings? Are they male or female?
The third meeting will look at the lowly shepherds found in the fields with their sheep. Why were they chosen to be told of the birth of Jesus?
The fourth meeting will look at the different animals we see at the manger scene which may include sheep, oxen, donkey, roosters, camels, and elephants???
The Tuesday after Christmas we will study baby Jesus himself. Why do we usually see him wrapped in cloth? Why are his hands stretched out? When is the appropriate time to lay him in the manger?
The last session will be on January 3 - close to Epiphany. At that time we will study the three wise men. Were they really wise men? What is the significance of their gifts? Why are they usually different races?
As you can see you will learn a lot! Come to one. Come to all. This is a free of charge event, but donations are always welcome! There is plenty of parking. We do share our church with a Catholic parish, but we are of the protestant leaning. We are an Open and Affirming church. No matter who you are or how much you know about Christmas (and the manger scene) you are welcome here.
I hope you can find some time during your busy holiday schedule to come and visit us, learn and deepen your faith.