Advent Anywhere: new opportunities for 2016

gatherAs the Children and Youth ministry teams began planning the Advent season, it became clear that this year was an opportunity to try something a little different. Christmas falling a Sunday and the usual celebrations (Thanksgiving, pageant, cantata, and Communion) meant that there was only one Sunday available for 10 a.m Sunday school. Advent is a season of preparing for the great mystery of Christmas. One Sunday is not enough!

This challenge (like many challenges do) stretched us to move beyond our assumption that Sunday school is the primary place people grow in faith. When we stop to think about, it, we realize that faith formation happens at home, in the car, among friends, online, and at church.  This Advent, we are equipping families to pause, read, and pray together wherever they are:

At home:

Journey to Bethlehem At Home Guides are available online as a .pdf and in the lobby as hard copies.  The guides focus on a different person in the nativity story each week. New pieces are added to the family nativity set until the scene is complete on Christmas Eve.  Colorful, Advent window calendars will be available this Sunday, too!

At church:

We have included meaningful worship elements for all ages in the 10 a.m. service. Candle lighting, giant coloring pages and more will help us all to engage with worship.  Parents are invited to the Child of the Light Advent Study (November 20, 27, December 4 and 11 at 5:30-6:30) during pageant practice.

Online:

E-devotionals, weekly photo themes, prayers and reflections will be send via email, our website, and on Facebook (@NorthbrookUMChurch). Our hope is that these digital resources encourage us all to pause our normal routine for a moment, so that we might experience the wonder of God’s coming to earth as a tiny baby to dwell among us. O Come O Come, Emmanuel.

Other wonder-filled online resources:

Pray in Color this Advent

Advent Resources, Homemade Gift Ideas and that Advent I took the door off the hinges on Christine’s blog

Make your own Advent wreath for $1

The Nativity video by the informative (but goofy) Chuck Knows Church

 

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