Thank you for walking through Advent with "Abide in the Sacred YES"! We loved sharing our favorite prayers, songs, reflections, and activities with you this season. We offer our final collection of resources, this one to last through Christmas.
Spend some time observing the final image. Do you see elements from our four weeks woven throughout?
Abide in God's holy and sacred YES. Christ is with us!
Advent is typically a time of contemplative preparation. During a season when calendars are filled to the brim with “end of the year” activities and holiday celebrations, Advent practices can serve as a reminder to stay present and focused on God’s movement in your life and in the world.
The typical messages of Advent calendars and devotionals point to a need to stay put, stay in place, and remember the true “reason for the season.” We hear calls such as:
This year, as the Office of Christian Formation began to dream and consider an Advent offering, a new set of images began to take shape. What are we called to in a time that is not filled to the brim with activities/travel/social occasions? What is the Advent message that fits within our 2020 paradigm?
How might we approach the paradoxes and the both/and nature of this season? How do we prepare for a Child to be born: one that has already been and will be again? How shall we hear the prophetic words of a young woman, echoing the cries of people before her? Where do we encounter surprising moments of peace in the midst of turmoil, beauty in the center of destruction, healing in a moment of pain?
What does it look like to rest in uncertainty, while trusting in a God that is strong, loving beyond reason, and capable of more than we can ever imagine?
How can we abide in the YES that God offers?
Our Advent 2020 resource is several things. It is a curated Advent Calendar, a collection of new and existing resources from the Episcopal Church and beyond. Each week will reveal a new theme and accompanying interactive illustration. Each week, you may find music – prayers – reflections – a daily action – an activity. For those who have a hard time choosing “just one devotional,” this Advent calendar will give you a taste of different offerings. We hope it will spark curiosity and that those who participate will be introduced to something new this season.
It is also a ministry tool for formation leaders. We will share a collection of documents and articles that explore how to curate and create something like this for your own congregation. Our hope is to offer both the calendar as well as our planning document to formation leaders in the hopes of inspiring and equipping them in their ministry. Drawing from the expertise of the Vibrant Faith network, this Advent calendar is a (rather nontraditional) “formation playlist.” We share our methods, directions, and decisions with you to use when taking on a project like this in your own context.
2020 has been a year unlike any most of us have ever experienced. And yet, Advent begins, and the church year starts anew. Unto us, a Child is to be born, and we prepare in the ways that we know how. We hope that this Advent calendar is a blessing to you, as you sit with all of the ways that God is saying YES unexpectedly.