As was announced on November 17, due to the high rates of new COVID cases in the province and with Hamilton now in a pandemic Red Zone, our St. Andrew’s family will be marking Advent at home this year. So, I’m sharing some practices that we can use to keep the hope of the season before us as we wait for the light of Christ to shine into the darkness.
Setting up an Advent Wreath
Jen Pooni will be dropping off craft kits to all our St. Andrew’s families with kids, but anyone can make their own Advent wreath from supplies you can get from the dollar store or craft shop. Ideally your candles would be 3 purple, 1 pink and 1 white (and you can also find blue Advent candles as another alternative), but feel free to use whatever you can easily obtain. If you would prefer to buy readymade Advent candles, holders or wreaths, you can find them at the Family Christian Book Store in Burlington (750 Guelph Line) or at online retailers like Amazon (though shipping times may vary).
At our house we have our wreath on our dining room table, and we light the week’s candles at dinner time each day. Each week for worship I will be sending along the Presbyterian Church in Canada’s Advent liturgy, which you can use whenever you join our online service or at dinner on Sundays. You can also use the document below that has simple prayers for each candle that you can use throughout the rest of the week.
Advent Challenge and Gifts of Change
Connected with the Advent Liturgies is the PWS&D Advent Challenge. For each week of Advent, read the story on the back of the PWS&D Advent liturgy, complete the weekly challenge and share the gifts of hope, peace, joy and love that enable abundant life—at home and around the world.
Another way to give to others as you get ready for Christmas is the Gifts of Change program. Below you’ll find the 2020-2021 catalogue which you can look through and choose what kind of mission or development gifts you would like to give on your own behalf or as a present to others. This Advent the St. Andrew’s Mission Team will be picking a project from Gifts of Change to support with the some of the funds you have generously given to the Mission Fund in the past year.
Wesley Christmas Program
While the program will be a bit different this year, we can continue to support Wesley Urban Ministries as we normally would with our giving tree. For information on how to take part this year, please see the document below from the Mission Team.
Advent Study and Devotional
A great resource for study in any season is the Bible Project. Last year they produced a series of 4 videos for each of the weeks in Advent which you can find, along with study notes and other resources here: https://bibleproject.com/explore/the-advent-series/
If you would like something for each day, I would recommend the Advent for Everyone devotional by N. T. Wright. You can find it on Amazon in both print and e-book formats, or take a drive to the Family Christian Bookstore in Burlington.
May God bless you with Hope, Peace, Joy and Love,
May the Spirit empower you to be a blessing to others,
And May Christ be present in all our waiting.
Grace and Peace,
Rev. John Read