Sights & Sounds of Advent

November 26 – December 17, 2023

9:30 a.m. | Assembly Room

Pictures of the Nativity, hymns that have been sung for generations, and stories we know from memory all prepare us for the coming of our Lord at Christmas. This season, come learn how what we see, hear and sing combines into a rich theology of the incarnation.

Audio recordings will be posted below each class description.

November 26 & December 3 | Paul Rorem

A Pair of Classic American Hymns

“Blessed Assurance” by Fanny Crosby (1820–1915) reflects nineteenth-century American revivalism. It is personal testimony: “This is my story, this is my song.” “God of Grace and God of Glory” by Harry Emerson Fosdick (1878–1969) reflects the early twentieth-century American Social Gospel. It calls for societal transformation: “Cure your children’s warring madness; … rich in things and poor in soul.” These hymns may seem to have quite different and unrelated concerns. But they are closely linked, both historically through Walter Rauschenbusch (1861–1918) and thematically. As Fosdick said, “personal and social Christianity are … one gospel indivisible.”

Nov. 26

Dec. 3

Paul Rorem is Princeton Theological Seminary’s Benjamin B. Warfield Professor of Medieval Church History Emeritus. An ordained Lutheran minister, his courses featured medieval women, mysticism, and hymn texts as a way to engage church history. His Singing Church History: Introducing the Christian Story Through Hymn Texts will be published by Fortress Press in April 2024.

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December 10 | Karlfried Froehlich

Christmas Art in Florence

Shall we travel to Florence, Italy for the holidays? Christmas art and its theological roots in the City of Flowers and  Light is an almost inexhaustible topic across many centuries. Since Florence was the birthplace of the cultural and religious movement we call the “Renaissance,” we will concentrate on that era and explore Christmas themes in the work of some well-known artists of the 14th and 15th centuries whose lives were lived in the historical shadow of the Florentine Republic: Giotto di Bondone, Tommaso Masaccio, Lorenzo Ghiberti, Fra Angelico, Hugo von der Goes, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Benozzo Gozzoli, Sandro Boticelli.

Karlfried Froehlich, a native of Saxony, Germany, moved to the United States in 1964, taught at Drew University and, from 1968 to 1992, at Princeton Theological Seminary, where he held the Benjamin B. Warfield chair in church history. Karlfried is an active member of the Lutheran Church (ELCA). His scholarly interests include the history of Christian art and the history of biblical interpretation, a field to which he has contributed significantly through his teaching and writing.

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December 17 | Maria LoBiondo

Where Love Is, God Is by Leo Tolstoy

Join storyteller Maria LoBiondo for an oral rendition of “Where God Is, Love Is” (also known by the title “What Men Live By”), Russian author Leo Tolstoy’s short story in which love of God and neighbor as presented in Matthew 25:35-40 shines through the experiences of Martin the cobbler.

Maria LoBiondo believes that a story is a heart-to-heart gift shared between teller and listener. She began practicing the oral tradition of storytelling when expecting her second child; her daughter is now 29 years old. In that time, she has shared stories at Princeton’s Littlebrook School and the Princeton Montessori School, at the Catholic Community of St. Charles Borromeo in Montgomery Township, at the Princeton Public Library, and at the New Jersey Storytelling Festival, among other venues. A former reporter and editor for The Princeton Packet, she recently retired from the staff of Princeton University’s Office of Advancement Communications.

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December 24 | Jason Oosting

Art of Advent

In 2020 Jason Oosting, former member of Nassau Church, recorded this four-part adult education series for us. We are pleased to bring it to your attention again this year.

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A Child’s Advent at Nassau

All are welcome!

Children’s Devotional Advent Calendar

Pick up a family devotional Advent Calendar during fellowship on November 26 or December 3, and reflect daily with your child on the coming of our Lord.

Advent Craft Fair

Wednesday, November 29, 4:00-6:00 pm

Children, age 3 and up, join us for this festive afternoon of crafts, treats, and Christmas stories by the tree. There will be a variety of projects suitable to every ability. Parents are encouraged to stay and participate with preschool-age children.

Wee Christmas

Sunday, December 10, 10:15 am, Sanctuary

Hear the Nativity story and join a low-expectation, high-participation flash pageant (costumes provided!). Wee Christmas is intended for families with children age 2 to grade 2. Older siblings are welcome to participate, if inclined. Joyful Noise and Carol Choir will NOT meet on December 10.

Christmas Pageant and Tea

Sunday, December 17, 4:00 pm, Sanctuary

All are invited to come and enjoy this beloved tradition led by our children and youth, and stay for refreshments and fellowship at 5:00 pm.

Christmas Eve Family Worship

On Christmas Eve, December 24, our 3:00 pm worship service is especially suited to families.

Dan + Claudia Zanes Community Concert

Saturday, January 13, 2024, 5:00 pm

Join us for a special community concert that supports Arm in Arm. Stay tuned for more details!

Health for Haiti Christmas Tree

December 3 – January 7, Assembly Room, hosted by Presbyterian Women in the PC(USA)

Decorate our Christmas Tree with items needed for the Haiti clinic: muscle rub, antibiotic cream, gauze, tape, Band-Aids, ACE bandages, thermometers, wooden tongue depressors, non-latex gloves, hand lotion, small cakes of soap, packaged toothbrushes, small children’s toys (matchbox cars, jump ropes, etc.), barrettes, and hair ribbons.

Read more online: Friends for Health in Haiti

Contact: Lauren McFeaters (email)

Advent at Nassau Presbyterian Church (2022)

We celebrate the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Throughout Advent we answer our call to love our neighbors by donating to:

Events are in the Sanctuary unless otherwise noted.
*Services that will be livestreamed on the church website, Facebook, and YouTube.

Download Printable Calendar (pdf)

Sunday, November 27

Advent I Communion Worship
9:15* & 11:00 AM

Breaking Bread Worship
6:30 PM, Niles Chapel

Wednesday, November 30

Advent Craft Fair
4:00–6:00 PM, Assembly Room

Sunday, December 4

Advent II Worship
9:15* & 11:00 AM

Breaking Bread Worship
6:30 pm, Niles Chapel

Saturday, December 10

Holiday Choral Concert
The Newark Boys Choir
5:00 PM

Sunday, December 11

Advent III Worship
9:15* & 11:00 AM

Wee Christmas
10:15 am

Service of Remembrance
2:00 pm, Niles Chapel

Breaking Bread
Christmas Gathering
6:30 pm, Niles Chapel

Sunday, December 18

Advent IV Worship
9:15* and 11:00 AM
Joy Offering

Christmas Pageant
4:00 pm*

Christmas Tea & Treats
5:00 pm, Assembly Room

Wednesday, December 21

Caroling at Stonebridge with children & youth choirs
4:00 PM, meet at Stonebridge

Friday, December 23

Choir & Fellowship Reunion
Refreshments for ALL current High School & alumni members
6:00 PM, Assembly Room

Christmas Eve Music Rehearsals

Bell Peal
6:30 pm

Cantorei and Alumni Choir
7:00 pm

Saturday, December 24

Christmas Eve Family Worship
3:00 pm

Christmas Eve Worship
5:00 pm*

Christmas Eve Candlelight
Lessons & Carols
9:00 pm

Sunday, December 25

10:00 am* only (see notes)

Sunday, January 1

Communion Worship
10:00 am* only (see notes)

Notes for 10:00 am services on December 25 & January 1 :

  • No Adult Education or Church School.
  • No Nursery on December 25. Nursery provided for children up to age 2 on January 1.
  • Bible story and craft time in Room 07 for children age 3 to Grade 2 on January 1 only.

Contemplative Prayer Group this Advent

Gathering at 7:00 p.m. in Niles Chapel on the following Thursday evenings: December 1st, 8th, 15th, and 22nd.

There is something in every one of you that waits and listens for the sound of the genuine in yourself. It is the only true guide you will ever have. ~Howard Thurman

Join us this Advent for a series of explorations on contemplative prayer. As a season of anticipation and hope, Advent is an ideal time to delve into the longings of our hearts through the inward journey of contemplation.

Over the course of four weeks, we will explore a simple method of contemplative prayer or meditation practiced among early Christians and preserved in various Christian communities around the world. Along the way, we will discover that contemplation draws us into deeper relationship with God, others, and ourselves − and that the discipline of contemplative prayer empowers us to respond to Jesus’ call to follow him and serve the world.

Each short exploration will be followed by a time for contemplative prayer. New and experienced meditators alike are welcome. No registration necessary.

For more information, contact Lauren McFeaters or Chris Renshaw.

Adult Education – Advent 2021

Advent in…

From the Annunciation to the Alleluias, Advent is a season of Anticipation. In music, art, movement and speech, we look forward to the birth of Christ. Come, Lord Jesus!

Audio recordings will be posted below each class description.

Current Covid Protocols for Adult Education

Our presenters are fully vaccinated and will comply with our testing protocol for worship leaders. Social distancing will apply in the Assembly Room with seating limited to 40 and masking inside the building will continue.

November 28 | Elizabeth Steel

Advent in Pictures: Joy and Gladness

Joy is a central theme to the Advent narrative. We will explore the concept of “joy” in visual art and usher in the season by reflecting on how we are called to express joy in our own lives. By encountering a variety of different works, we will discern how we can be open to receiving and sharing God’s “joy and gladness” this season.

Elizabeth Steel is a fourth year student at Princeton Theological Seminary earning her MDiv and MA in Christian Education and Formation. With BA in Art History at the University of Virginia, she is exploring the capacity that art holds for theological reflection and formation, including an internship at the Princeton University Art Museum. She grew up in McLean, Virginia and didn’t know anybody could be anything other than Presbyterian until high school.

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December 5 | Paul Rorem

Advent in Song: Pandemic Hymnody

“Wake, Awake, for Night is Flying” may be an Advent hymn, but not in the modern sense.  It has more to do with the plague than with Christmas. And “How Brightly Beams the Morning Star” (How Fair, How Bright the Morning Star) may sound like it refers to the Epiphany star the Wise Men saw, but it doesn’t! These two hymns, (“Wachet auf” and “Wie schoen leuchtet der Morgenstern”) appended in tandem to a big book by Philipp Nicolai (1556-1608) and later favorites of J. S. Bach and F. Mendelssohn, became known as the King and Queen of German Chorales.

Paul Rorem is Princeton Theological Seminary’s Warfield Professor Emeritus of Ecclesiastical History, a title he now shares with his own doctor-father Karlfried Froehlich.  His courses covered St. Augustine, mysticism, women writers, and hymn texts as windows into church history in general.

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December 12 | Annalise Hume

Advent in Motion: The Word Became Flesh

During Advent, we turn our attention to the coming of our Incarnated Christ, the Word made Flesh. By also tuning in to our own bodily experiences, we can freshly experience the season this year. Together we will consider how and why embodied spiritual practices can enliven our faith. Then we will get up and play with a bit of movement for ourselves. All bodies are welcome!

Annalise Hume is a passionate, creative, down-to-earth Spiritual Director who loves listening and asking questions to help others recognize the movement of God in their life. She has a BFA in Dance from the University of Minnesota as well as an MDiv and MA in Christian Education from Princeton Theological Seminary.  In her spare time, you will find her playing with her toddler, watching Princeton tennis matches, and dreaming up her next trip.

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December 19 | Michael Morgan

Advent in Speech: Good Tidings of Great Joy

Join us as we explore and hear Luke 2:8-10 as if for the first time. What tools do orators use to highlight meaning and story in scripture? Through these tools we will discover the patterns, contradictions, and hidden gems in a passage we know (almost) too well.

Michael Dean Morgan and family (Shana, Dean, and Avery) joined Nassau Church in 2013. Michael is a professional actor, head of Voice and Speech at Rowan University, and a longtime adjunct professor of Speech Communication at Princeton Theological Seminary.

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Advent Evening Prayer Services

Join in mid-week fellowship, share prayer concerns, join in song.

This season Nassau will gather each Tuesday and Thursday at 8:00pm for a brief service of evening prayer hosted and led by members of our church staff.

These services will be held on Zoom. A link will be sent out to the “News from Nassau (All-Church News)” email list. This is the list that receives our mid-week Nassau Generations email newsletter. If you would like to be added to this list, please visit the Newsletter page of this website.


Ornament Decoration on Zoom – Sat. Dec. 5, 3:30 pm

In honor of Witherspoon’s 180th Anniversary, Church Life is planning a Year-Long Calendar of Events. On Saturday, December 5, at 3:30 p.m., WSPC will host a Zoom event to make Christmas ornaments. Monica Burch and Shirley Satterfield will teach us how to make two ornaments.

Contact Lauren Yeh for the Zoom link.

Download Instructions & Supply Lists: