Getting Ready for Advent!
The name “Advent” actually comes from the Latin word adventus which means “coming.” It is a reminder of how the Jewish nation waited for the Messiah and how Christians are now waiting for the return of Christ.
Advent which begins on Sunday Dec. 2 is like a breath of fresh air -a new church year, a new set of Gospel readings from Mark, and the anticipation of the birth of Christ. During each of the 4 Sundays of the Advent season, we focus on one of the four virtues Jesus brings us: Hope, Peace, Joy and Love by lighting the Advent candles.
There is a color change in the church. Today, many churches have begun to use blue instead of purple, as a means of distinguishing Advent from Lent. Blue also signifies the color of the night sky or the waters of the new creation in Genesis 1. Blue emphasizes the season is also about hope and anticipation of the coming of Christ. Christ is about transformation as the sky changes from dark to light filling our lives with grace.
Here is 2017’s Advent 1 in pictures.
A St. Peter’s Advent and Christmas
Advent is a season of preparation for the coming of Jesus as one of us. Jesus brought God’s light into the world during his lifetime and we expect him to return to reign in glory at the end of time.
1.Bethlehem Walk, Sun, Dec. 2, After Sun. Potluck luncheon This is a life-sized of outside reenactment of the city of Bethlehem at the time of Christ. The tour is outside and takes approximately 45 minutes Salem Baptist Church 465 Broad Street Road, Manakin, VA 23103 (6 miles west of Short Pump)
2.Village Dinner, Wed., Dec. 5, 5pm-6:30pm Spiral baked ham, Festive scalloped corn, BeBe’s green beans , Pineapple upside down cake –
3.Port Royal Christmas Lighting – Fri., Dec. 7, 5:30-8pm at the town Fire Hall. Food , games, songs and the lighting of the Christmas tree. –
4.Choir Retreat – Sat. Dec. 8, 10:00am–The choir will be gathering to rehearse Christmas music followed by lunch. Set aside some time to pray this morning for Brad Volland, our organist, and our dedicated choir.
5. Dec. 9 – Poinsettia form , ECM Christmas donations due
6. Everett’s Christmas – Sun. Dec. 9, 5:30pm. Gather round the Everett’s table for a delicious pot luck dinner, over the top Christmas decorations, and Christmas caroling. All are welcome.
7. Dec. 16 – Endowment Fund, Episcopal Relief & Development gifts due
9. Christmas Eve – Sun., Dec. 24, 4:00pm music, 4:30pm service – Holy Eucharist Rite II. Celebrating Christ coming among us.
10. Lessons and Carols – Sun. Dec. 30, 11am. This traditional Anglican service, developed in England, gives us the opportunity to hear the story of our salvation in Jesus Christ through scripture and song.
11. New Year’s Eve Gala – Sun. Dec. 31, 6pm. Parish House
Two Opportunities for Adult Christian Ed.
1. Sundays in the Parish House during Advent – Conversation and Prayer
1. Behold! Dec. 2, 2018, 10am – What are you seeking during the season of Advent?
2. Proclaim! Dec. 9, 2018, 10am – What is God proclaiming to us, and what are we to proclaim to the world?
3. Rejoice! Dec. 16, 2018, 10am – What promises of God give you cause to rejoice? Help prepare for the greening of the church at 11AM.
2. Advent Online learning – Luke’s Canticles 4 canticles for Advent. Learn at your own pace, as little or as much.
Three years ago during Advent we used Paul Gordon-Chandler’s book Songs in Waiting to present Luke’s 4 canticles. It is appropriate to do this again as we are entering Year C which concentrates on Luke’s Gospel. These are wonderful stories of Mary’s Annunciation, Elizabeth and Zechariah, the Shepherds and Simeon that enlarge anyone’s Advent/Christmas season.
This time we are trying a new approach, an online course, which can be taken at any time in any order in any amount and anywhere there is an internet connection. It is optimized for both desktop and mobile devices. (Advent at Starbucks!) You don’t have to complete all lessons to get the benefits. 5 lessons – try one each week.
Advent in 2 minutes Check out this Youtube video
Advent in 1 minute– A 2015 video from St. Mary’s Cypress
Bishop Goff on Advent – the most wonderful time of year
Diocese of Va. Advent Meditations, Week 1
Explore Advent, Part 1– Over the next 4 Sundays there will be a presentation each week focusing on that week’s scriptures, art and commentary and how they demonstrate the themes of advent. Let’s get started with Advent 1.
Advent is the time when we change to a different year in the Lectionary. This year we move from Year B to Year C and from a concentration on the Gospel of Mark to Luke.
Here is an introduction to the Gospel of Luke. Here is a shorter one “Living the Good News” There are several articles which are a general introduction to Luke on the web: 1. Shortest from christianity.about.com 2. Longer from the Catholic Bishops 3. Longest from a Catholic portal. Each of the readings is covered separately
Interested in the Church calendar ? Matthew’s interest about time in First Advent lends itself to understand how we measure time.
#AdventWord Help make an online Advent Calendar for 2018.
Advent resources from the Episcopal Church Foundation.
The Season of Advent is alive with colors, candles, wreaths and song. David Bratcher has written a wonderful article on Advent traditions.
Advent is a time when we take on different disciplines. Here is Rev. Brad Jackson’s 20 minutes of Advent a day
Advent is a time of meditations
There will be a number of these meditations added through the season.
1. From Kentucky Crescent Hill Baptist which has meditations from Advent 1 through Christmas.
2. From Creighton University, a Jesuit college – Praying Advent
3. From Wales, Advent Themes and Resources. This has a “pop-up” lectionary at the bottom.
4. From the Episcopal Church Foundation’s Vital Practices –
A. What Fresh Hell is This – The wait demanded of us in Advent is a more difficult one with no tangible outcome accessible to us. A reflection to think about Advent through Joseph’s eyes as he travels to Bethlehem with Mary.
B. Secrets of the Advent Artichoke. Feeling pressure to have everything done already? “Secrets of the Advent artichoke” for a season in which we prepare and anticipate
C. Taking Advent to the Streets. Some real Advent actions throughout the season
5. Barbara Crafton on spiritual discipline in Advent (Credo)
6. Reflection on Advent – Rowan Williams, the former archbishop of Canterbury shares an Advent Reflection.
Advent is a time of music. Here is a link to National Cathedral’s Advent Lessons and Carols on Dec. 10, 2017 Here is a link to the Dec. 2, 2018 event.
Advent is a time of learning.
Trinity Church in New York has released a video series by Dr. Michael Battle entitled “The Book of Revelation: The End of the World or Heaven on Earth?”. It is based on his book Heaven on Earth: God’s Call to Community in the Book of Revelation.What if Revelation is not about end times, but rather a guide to how we create heaven on earth, right now?