The Start of the Christian Year
Advent begins with the decorating of the sanctuary. Typically we decorate on the Friday after Thanksgiving since Advent generally begins the Sunday after Thanksgiving.
Each Sunday during Advent, we light one of the Advent candles and ponder the journey to the birth of our Lord Jesus. Christmas Eve we light the Christ candle and hold a candlelight service celebrating the joyous birth of the Baby Jesus in Bethlehem so many years ago.
The Journey to the Cross
Our Lenten journey starts on Ash Wednesday. The elders offer Ashes to Go in the local community. We meet the shuttle to Socorro in the morning and the bus from the Very Large Array in the afternoon. We provide a cross of palm branch ashes to any and all who wish to receive the ashes and a blessing. In addition, we can visit shut-ins to give them ashes. This is an ecumenical effort. Any Christian who desires the ashes can receive them.
Our sister church in Socorro hosts a Maundy Thursday service. Members of congregation join them for that service.
Magdalena Community Church hosts a Tenebrae service on Good Friday evening. It’s a very powerful service focused on Jesus’ betrayal, trial, and ultimate death on the cross. During the service, the lights dim until there is no light remaining in the sanctuary. There is the loud noise of the Strepitus symbolizing the stone rolling in front of the tomb to seal Jesus inside. Everyone leaves in silence. It’s a stark reminder of how the disciples must have felt at Jesus’ crucifixion.
The Joyous Resurrection
Our congregation celebrates Easter Sunday morning with the ecumenical Sonrise service in Socorro. This service is held on the fairway of the New Mexico Tech Golf Course behind Macey Center. It’s a great time to celebrate that we are all Christians regardless of our individual denominations. And we are all Children of God through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross.
The Sonrise service is followed by a pancake breakfast at Saint Paul’s United Methodist Church in Socorro. Then people depart to their separate church services to further celebrate the joy of Easter.
The Arrival of the Holy Spirit
The Easter Season ends with Pentecost. This is the anniversary of the day that the Holy Spirit came to dwell within the early church members. It’s a very special day for many Christians.
Magdalena Community Church has a tradition of celebrating Communion on Pentecost. It’s a recognition of the power of Jesus in our lives and the sacrifice that He made for the sins of all of us.
Vacation Bible School
Christian Learning for the Young
Magdalena Community Church hosts a four-day Vacation Bible School the week before the the Old Timer’s Reunion. Children from three years old to teen are welcome.
The theme changes from year to year but the enthusiasm endures. VBS definitely allows us the put Christ’s words into action educating a new generation of Christians. It is both humbling and exhilarating for all who participate.
A Celebration of Christian Fellowship
The last Sunday in July is a special worship service. We meet with our brethren from our sister church in Socorro and our friends in the Datil Community Church for a joint worship service at Water Canyon Picnic Grounds. The site is roughly halfway between Socorro and Magdalena. The picnic grounds are nestled in the beautiful Cibola National Forest.
During the service, we celebrate Communion as joint brothers and sisters in Christ. After worship, we enjoy a potluck meal and the good fellowship of our friends and neighbors.