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Advent Festival

 The Advent Festival at St. Stephen’s United Methodist Church is a fun and festive event for the Burke, Fairfax, Annandale, and Springfield communities. Come enjoy the event with family and neighbors to kick-off the season.
Advent is an ancient Christian tradition. It is the season that begins our “church year” and serves as a time for prayer and preparation for the celebration of Christmas (the incarnation and birth of Christ).
The Advent Festival will include a load of fun activities, opportunities for DIY crafts, shopping, a Christmas Concert, a Christmas Market, and much more. Come when you want, and leave when you must; but trust that this will add to lots of meaning and memories to get you in the holiday spirit

Details: 

What – A free holiday festival for all generations
When – Saturday December 1, 2018, from 10am-1pm (Christmas Concert at 11am). Come and go as you please.
Where – St. Stephen’s UMC: 9203 Braddock Rd. Burke, VA
Who – Anyone and everyone in our community, plus your family and neighbors, is invited.
Why – We love the Advent season at our church. This year we wanted to share our celebration with our community.
Cost – The event is free. There are items for sale at the event, and food trucks. Please bring an ornament from your household to trade with another.

FAQ’s 

What is Advent? Advent is an ancient Christian season. It marks the beginning of our “church year,” and starts four Sundays before Christmas. It is a season of prayer and preparation for the celebration of Christmas.

Where is the event? All of the festivities take place at St. Stephen’s United Methodist Church (9203 Braddock Rd.) in Burke, VA.

Where should I park? St. Stephen’s has a large parking lot. There should be plenty of space.

How much does it cost? The event is entirely free. However, there are opportunities to do some shopping included in the event. We will have a Free Trade Christmas Market offered by Fair Trade Winds of Fairfax, selling holiday-themed fair trade items. There will also be evergreen wreaths and garlands for sale by our Boy Scout Troop. Also, there will be a food truck on site for lunch (around 12pm) which will be selling lunch items. Otherwise, all the crafts, gifts, and activities are free.

Do I need to bring anything? Yes! We invite you to bring a Christmas ornament from your house to trade in our Ornament Exchange (one of our church’s Advent traditions). We will tape your name to your ornament, you will place it on our tree, and then you’ll take home an ornament from another house. During Advent, you’ll be able to hang their ornament on your tree and remember another household in your thoughts and prayers.

What ages are allowed? All ages are invited and allowed at this event. You are invited to stay for as short and as long as you want. Our church usually offers childcare for major events. However, for this event, we hope you’ll stay together as a family and enjoy the festivities. Noise, running children, and messes, are all part of the fun, as far as we are concerned.

Is there stuff planned for kids? Yes. In fact, all of our activities are designed to be experienced as a household. We have crafts which can take as little or as much time as you’d like, and plenty to take home with you to finish and enjoy later. Specifically, kids will be able to assemble Advent wreaths (an ancient tradition), saw their own Yule Log (with parental and professional supervision), eat cookies, color, make ornaments, and much more!

Should I bring money? If you please, you are welcome to bring money to buy gifts from our Fair Trade Christmas Market, the Boy Scout Evergreen Garland sale, and to buy lunch from our food truck.

Do the sale items accept credit cards? Yes, our vendors all accept credit cards.

Do I have to be a member of the church to attend? No. This is a chance for us to share with our community a part of our church’s culture. You do not have to be a member to attend. If you are Christian, we encourage you to bring friends from your church or neighborhood.

Do I have to be a Christian to attend? No. This is a chance for us to share with our community a part of our culture. You will not be asked to join the church or proselytized to. We intend this to be a gift given to all, without price or expectation.

What time is the Christmas Concert? The Christmas Concert will begin at 11am. We’ve planned this so that whether you come early, or late, you have a good chance of attending the Christmas Concert. Our women’s choir, children’s choir, and youth band will all play Advent and Christmas music. This will be the highlight of the Festival.

Is there food? Yes. We will have free coffee, tea, and Christmas cookies (of course), free for all. We will also have lunch for sale by a food truck.

Does the food cost money? Free food includes drinks and cookies. Lunch will be provided by a food truck whose prices we will post on our Facebook Event.

What time should we arrive? You may arrive any time between 10am and 1pm. However, the main event of the festival is the 11am Christmas Concert. It’s not to be missed. Other craft, shopping, and gift stations will be open throughout the event; and, if you visit each station, it should take you about an hour to enjoy.

What is there to do at the Advent Festival? A lot! We’ll have a variety of stations for you to visit during your time at the Festival. DIY stations include an Advent Wreath station where you may make your own Advent wreath (an ancient tradition) from fresh evergreens and candles, and a Saw-Your-Own Yule Log station  (all contents provided for free). Shopping is available at the Fair Trade Christmas Market from Fair Trade Winds of Fairfax, and the Boy Scouts Evergreen Garland sale. We’ll also have a variety of smaller stations to learn about Advent, and take some of it home to enjoy all the way to Christmas.

What should I know about St. Stephen’s United Methodist Church? You should know that we are very happy to be hosting our first ever Advent Festival. We are a church of all generations, hoping, with God’s help, to grow in love of God and love of our neighbors through Worship, Learning, and Service, To learn more, explore our website at ststephensfairfax.org, call us at (703) 978-8724, or just stop by and see us, especially on Sundays.