• Tom Emanuel

WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR... This Week at UCC Watertown


“You take it on faith, you take it to the heart - the wai-i-iting is the hardest part." --Tom Petty, "The Waiting"


Happy New Year! …New Church Year, that is. This coming Sunday, December 2, marks the beginning of Advent, the first season in the Christian liturgical calendar.


We say that Advent is a season of waiting. In the biblical tradition, waiting is not a passive activity. The Hebrew word for waiting, qavah, comes from a root that means to twist or to stretch – think of a bowstring pulled taut, ready to be loosed. To wait is to be held in tension between what is right now, and what might already be on its way.

In Advent, we’ll be reading from the biblical Prophets, who were waiting, hoping, praying for the day when God would restore Israel and lead the people out of captivity into freedom. They knew with every fiber of their being that “the days are surely coming, says the HOLY ONE” (Jeremiah 31:31), when all will things would be made new. But they lived in that in-between space, trusting that the Spirit was at work “for [their] welfare and not for harm.” (Jeremiah 29:11)


The beginning of a new year—liturgical or otherwise—is a time to share in the prophet’s “holy waiting.” Take some time to reflect on where you’ve been, and where you hope to be next year. What might it take to get you from here to there? What might it take to get us from here to there? Talk with friends and family about it. Bring your questions into your prayer life. I know I’ll be reflecting on my time with you at UCCW so far, and what it might mean for me to really settle into this new call in this new place.


Advent isn’t a time to make resolutions quite yet. But it is a time to get clear about where we are and where we’d like to be. It’s a time to cultivate trust that the Light is really on its way. It’s a time, in short, to ask ourselves, “What are you waiting for?”

May we be blessed in our wishing and our waiting, our hoping and our praying. And may the Advent of the Light at Christmastime surprise us with fulfillment beyond anything we could dream of.


Blessin’s, --Tom


QUESTIONS FOR THE WEEK: What are the dearest dreams of your heart for the coming year? What helps you bear with the tension of “not-yet”? How can we “wait a new world” into being?


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COMING UP


Wednesday 11/28

  • Tom at LATI community office hours 9am – 12pm

  • The Altar Committee will be changing the church decorations from fall to Christmas on Wednesday, November 28th at 1pm. More hands are needed for that project!  If you can help, please just show up to decorate our church.

  • Wednesday Youth Church 6pm

  • UCCW  Choir 7pm

Thursday 11/29

  • Tom’s Community Office Hours, 9am-12pm @ Gather

  • Holden Evening Prayer at Trinity Episcopal Church, 6pm: Pastor Tom and Rev. Isaiah Broken Leg (Trinity Episcopal) invite you to take part in a beautiful evening prayer service every Thursday during Advent. Join us for inspiring music and contemplative prayer as we wait together for the coming of the Light at Christmastime. All are welcome! (The service lasts 1/2 hour, with a simple potluck meal to follow.)

Sunday 12/2

  • Adult Bible Study, 8:45am

  • Communion Sunday Worship 10am

  • Sunday December 2nd: Crafting for Christ 1 pm

  • Book Study, 4pm (Fellowship Hall)

Women’s Fellowship will meet on Wednesday, December 5 at 1:30.  It will be our Christmas program with music and goodies! Members are asked to bring a sample of their favorite treats to share.  Everyone is welcome.


UCCW will be serving the Watertown Banquet on Monday, December 10, at Grace Lutheran Church. The church will not be unlocked until 4pm, for more information contact Cyndy Voight.


Have you stopped by the book exchange in the Fellowship Hall?  Just a great way to find a new book and drop one off if you have any.  Books for all ages, adults, teens, and children’s. We also have a puzzle and movie exchange. Stop by, take a look, ~~ take a book…  

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First Congregational United Church of Christ

PO Box 111 - 121 1st Ave SE Watertown, SD 57201

605-886-6994

ucc1wtn@midco.net - Office Email

uccwatertownpastor@midco.net - Pastor's Email

Office Hours M-F 8am - Noon

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