Special Worship Services and Seasons of the Church Year

Special Worship Services

There are two special worship services that we look forward to each year. The first one takes place in August or September with the Blessing of the Backpacks and the Collection of School Supplies at the beginning of the new school year. The second one takes place in November with the Blessing of the Operation Christmas Child Shoe Boxes.

Blessing of the Backpacks

With each school year comes the excitement and anticipation of a new beginning, a new journey, a new chapter. The Blessing of the Backpacks takes place during a regular worship service. It reinforces the  connection between the adults and children in the congregation. 


Collection of School Supplies

The collection of school supplies takes place in the weeks before the Blessing of the Backpacks Service. Our congregation has been very generous with their gifts. The supplies are donated to our local elementary school, Central Elementary, and are blessed at the Blessing of the Backpacks worship service.



Blessing of the Shoe Boxes

Operation Christmas Child (OCC) was created in 1990 by Dave Cooke and his wife Gill for children in Romania. Each November thousands of churches, groups and individual donors prepare and collect shoe boxes filled with toys, school supplies, personal items, and other small gifts.

The United Methodist Women at Mount Zion sponsor this mission event and encourage the congregation to participate. The Blessing of the OCC shoe-boxes takes place during a worship service in November. 



 The Advent Season

The Advent Candles

The Advent wreath, four candles on a wreath of evergreen, is shaped in a perfect circle to symbolize the eternity of God. During each Sunday of the Advent season, we focus on one of the four virtues Jesus brings us: Hope, Love, Joy and Peace. The Christ candle is lit on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day reminding Christians that Jesus is the light of the world. The order and exact wording vary among churches, but the wreath continually reminds us of whom we are called to be as followers of Jesus.



The Hanging of the Greens

The Hanging of the Greens is a service of preparation for Christ’s coming, which includes hanging greenery traditionally associated with everlasting life. Greens such as cedar for royalty, fir and pine boughs for everlasting life, holly symbolizing Jesus’ death, and ivy representing the resurrections are used. 

 A Chrismon Tree is decorated at Mount Zion on the first Sunday of Advent after the Hanging of the Greens. 



The Chrismon Tree

Chrismons are ornaments made from Christian symbols. The word  Chrismons is a contraction for ‘Christ monograms.  The congregation participates by each person placing a Chrismon on the tree. Our children especially enjoying this part of the worship service.

Christmas Eve
Holy Communion Candlelight
Worship Service

The sanctuary at Mount Zion is especially beautiful during the Advent Season and the beauty of the Christmas Eve Candlelight Service is the culmination of the Advent Season. The service consists of readings, hymns, Holy Communion, and then the lighting of the candles.

There is nothing more beautiful than the darkened sanctuary with a single candle glowing. One by one, the congregants light their own candle, one bright wick igniting another. The brightness of hundreds of candles fills the sanctuary for a few moments until we carry our light into the world.