The church leaders and pastors at Resurrection Lutheran Church and Seward and Moose Pass United Methodist Churches know this has been a challenging year where, even in a world with growing virtual connections, we have felt so disconnected. Therefore we are going ALL IN to the season of Advent with lots of activities to do; things to bring us closer to each other and closer to our coming King.
Here are ways to be engaged this Advent Season...
NEW SERMON SERIES FOR ADVENT
Join us on Sunday mornings on Facebook at 10:30 AM (or view thereafter on Facebook and YouTube) as we rediscover Christmas in sermons from Rev. Ben Bohart and Rev. Jim Doepken, reflecting on THIS season during THIS time. We'll be making our way through some traditional Advent themes of HOPE, PEACE, JOY, and LOVE and worship will be filled with Christmas carols, special Children's Messages from the Lutheran VBS leaders, and Advent Candlelighting.
MAKING ADVENT YULE LOGS
At both Seward UMC and Resurrection Lutheran Church we have pre-drilled, rustic yule logs to make an Advent candle holder for your family. There are also packs of 5 candles corresponding to the four Sundays of Advent (purple, purple, pink, purple) and one for Christmas Eve/Day (white). You can decorate the Yule Log however you want and should be able to find some greenery from the surrounding area if you'd like.
If you do get a Yule Log, take a picture and send it to one of our pastors so that we can incorporate it into Sunday worship. Another way to be connected as a community.
ADVENT READING PLAN
Advent has FOUR SUNDAYS with themes that take us to Christmas Eve. This reading plan has readings for every day of Advent (and then some).
Each weekly section contains an introduction page with a song to sing, verses to memorize, a question to ponder, and a verse to focus on throughout the week. We encourage you to use these sections as a guide for a weekly lighting of your own Advent wreath/Yule Log. Whether you do this alone, as a family, with friends, as a small group, in person, or virtually, the tradition of the lighting of the candles will add to the richness of your Advent experience. And singing the songs can make the experience especially fun and meaningful if you have kids.
You can pick up the reading plan at Seward UMC or Resurrection Lutheran Church. OR YOU CAN DOWNLOAD IT HERE FOR USE ON YOUR COMPUTER, TABLET, OR SMARTPHONE
O ANTIPHON GROWN UP (OR NOT) COLORING BOOK
We know that coloring can be a meditative and creative practice for people. Why not take the "O Antiphons" -- the names for Christ used since the 8th Century in Christian practice and the main point of "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel" -- as a way to focus on the coming of Christ this Christmas. This can be done quietly while you are at home or noisily with your family.
And, if you take a picture of the coloring you've been doing, we'll try to incorporate that into our Sunday worship.
You can pick up your coloring books at Seward UMC and Resurrection Lutheran Church. OR YOU CAN DOWNLOAD IT HERE TO PRINT OUT AT HOME.
A RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS ADVENT CALENDAR FOR KIDS AND FAMILIES
Even during this strange Advent season, where we are trying to limit our contact with others to keep ourselves and our communities safe, we can be engaged in acts of service as we prepare our hearts for the coming Christ. This Advent Calendar has different acts for each day of Advent. Whether or not you have young ones in your house, you can be a blessing to your community at this time.
And, if you take a picture of you or your family engaged in one of the activities and send it your pastor, we'll try to incorporate that into Sunday morning so we can see the ways we're loving those around us at this time.
You can pick up the calendar at one of our churches OR YOU CAN DOWNLOAD IT HERE.
PLUS THERE'S MORE
Special piano music from Sue McClure for the season
Advent candlelighting during worship
Some carols to start off our Sunday worship
The Advent Reading Plan incorporated into Thursday's online communion.
A coffee-time devotional (Time TBD) which will use the Advent Reading Plan
Weekly crafts to do with your family on Sundays (or whenever you choose)
A Zoom Soup Supper and recipe swap (since we can't gather for our usual soup suppers). The time is to be determined.
All of the above is how our churches are working together to make this season of Advent a holy one for you while continuing our efforts in building community during a challenging time.