Park Avenue incorporates the liturgical calendar into our community worship as a way to celebrate and embody the mystery of Christ, from his birth, through his life, and into his death and resurrection. There are six distinct church seasons:
Advent, meaning “coming” or “visit,” is the beginning of the liturgical year for Christians. It begins four Sundays before Christmas and ends on Christmas Eve. During Advent, we prepare for and anticipate the coming of Christ—not only by looking back and celebrating the birth of Jesus, but also by looking forward in anticipation of the second coming of Christ. Park Avenue United Methodist Church celebrates Advent with a variety of family-friendly, participatory events such as the weekly lighting of the Advent Candles, a community Advent Festival, and a candle-lit Christmas Eve service.
Christmas is a time to celebrate the gift of Jesus Christ, His coming to live among us. The Christmas season begins at sundown on December 24 (Christmas Eve) and lasts through Epiphany (January 6).
Epiphany marks the end of the Christmas season and marks the observance of the arrival of the wise men. In the earliest Christian traditions, maintained by the Eastern churches, the day began a period that celebrated the incarnation and baptism of Christ.
Lent represents the time Jesus spent in the wilderness, enduring the temptation of Satan and preparing to begin his public ministry. This 40-day season is for repentance, fasting and the preparation for the coming of Easter. The Lenten season lasts 40 days, not counting Sundays. Park Avenue UMC begins Lent on Ash Wednesday with a community soup supper and prayer service. Our community uses the Lenten season to enter into reflection and examination of how we and our community responds sacrificially to our neighborhood and to the world. We begin Holy Week (the week leading up to Easter Sunday) by waving branches on Palm Sunday and gathering on Maundy Thursday for a soup supper and Foot Washing Service. We end the week with a Good Friday Service, listening to Christian leaders in our community preach the Seven Last Words of Christ. Lent ends on Holy Saturday.
Join us and experience one of the most joyous celebrations of the Christian year! The Easter season begins with a beautiful Easter service, where we celebrate and give thanks for the resurrection of our Risen King. We celebrate with an annual pancake breakfast, orchestra and a sanctuary filled with flowers and new life.
Pentecost Sunday is the day we celebrate the descent of the Holy Spirit on the disciples after Jesus’ ascension. Pentecost Sunday begins a season called Ordinary Time, which continues until we begin the Advent season. Ordinary Time is a season of growth and renewal.