During the time of Jesus’ birth, much like today, there was great unrest with a census, violence, and political divisions. This year creates an opportunity for all of us to literally be the light in the world. Recently some clergy gathered via Zoom to brainstorm and discuss a few ideas about how to create an Advent and Christmas of hope. Here are a few ideas from the discussion.
Impromptu Christmas: A Christmas children’s program and Living Nativity. Rev. Peggy Hanson, at Trinity UMC in Lead, South Dakota, is working on a Christmas Eve pre-recorded children’s program that will involve a Live Nativity, with a take-home worship kit. She is calling it Impromptu Christmas, believing that the Holy Spirit, volunteers, and weather will guide the experience. The idea is to have an outdoor experience for people in the community where they can experience the story of the Jesus’ birth and continue with an at home worship experience. If you have questions or would like more information contact Peggy at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Advent at Home: Rev. Jen Anderson has created Advent at Home Activity Boxes. She also includes two of the weeks for a group called FLAMES. This is a group in our church of adults with intellectual disabilities that’ll be using one box during their monthly socially-distanced gathering. They will be doing the hot chocolate party and creating a small .99 cent advent wreath with birthday candles, a tea light and green clay, then sending supplies home for ornament making. Access the Advent at Home Activitiy Boxes decription. Contact Jen at: email@example.com
The Light is Coming: Rev. Lou Whitmer is going to base sermons throughout Advent around Joy to the World and finding light. Each week there is a theme including: let every heart prepare room, the weary world rejoices, no more let sins and sorrows grow, o more let sins and sorrows The series ends on Christmas even, based in Luke and using the the lyrics from Oh holy night Christmas Eve is all night divine. She will focus on the words, "the weary world rejoices." Contact Lou: firstname.lastname@example.org
New Leaf: Rev. Brandon Vetter is going to incorpate the work of devotional blog written by Canadian Christians. The theme or title for Advent in 2019 was, Advent When Everything is Falling to Pieces.” He plans to tweak the content to fit the context we are all living in today with the COVID-19 pandemic and a spin with a name called, “The Light is Coming.” Contact Brandon: email@example.com
Incarnation: Rediscovering the Significance of Christmas: Rev. Quaya Ackerman is using Adam Hamiltons new study. In his new book the Rev. Adam Hamilton helps readers rediscover the meaning behind Christ's birth by examining the different names and titles given to Jesus in the four Gospels. In the face of uncertainty and conflict, Christians reclaim the Christ child who brings us together, heals our hearts and calls us to bring light into the darkness. Now more than ever, we invite you to reflect upon the significance of the Christ child for our lives and world today! "Incarnation" is available in hard cover, large print and e-book formats. Readers can also purchase a leader guide, leader kit, youth study guide, children's guide or DVD. Cokesbury also has a Virtual Advent Kit for churches and/or classes of all ages meeting online. Contact Quaya: firstname.lastname@example.org
There are more ideas out there. Please share them with us. We will share the ideas generated by the discussions via Zoom and any others you send our way to: email@example.com