'Tis the season...almost! Sunday, November 28th marks the beginning of Advent - just 7 weeks away! As we prepare to journey through the season, we hope the resources provided in this edition will help jumpstart your planning and give you fresh ideas. As you begin preparations for the Advent season, consider the following resources for new ideas.
Come Home for Christmas - 2021 worship series from Discipleship Ministries
Podcast: Worship Matters Episode 51 – Join the worship team from Discipleship Ministries Dr. Cynthia Wilson, Dr. Diana Sanchez-Bushong, and Dr. Derek Weber as they talk worship planning, lectionary series, music, and liturgy for the rest of Year B and the beginning of Year C.
Advent study comparison chart from Cokesbury to help you decide what Advent study to use with your church or small group this year.
Planning Ahead to Preach During Advent: Offering Hope Webinar on October 19th, 2021 at 2:00 pm. During this session, Olu Brown, pastor of Impact Church, one of the fastest-growing churches in the country, will share his advice on preparing to preach during Advent.
Planning Activities for Advent & Christmas Webinar on October 20, 2021 at 2:00 pm. During this session, Anne Bosarge will offer advice and ideas about plans your congregation can begin making to make Advent and Christmas more meaningful. Anne will discuss lots of ideas for Bible studies, adult & children’s activities, and more.
Sharing the Christmas Story, Sharing Our Faith Webinar Three authors: Adam Hamilton, Matt Rawle and Laceye Warner, discuss with host Rachel Billups about their new studies and what inspires them at Christmas.
“Both/And: To Be Continued” Webinar on October 12th, 2021 at 10:00 am. This brand new 90-minute training focused on the why, how and what we can do to continue in hybrid worship, including 13 reasons why BOTH/AND must continue, the answer to the “what if they don’t come back to the building” question, how to create a BOTH/AND Think Tank at your church, as well as BOTH/AND pro tips for those considering a hybrid approach to the Advent season and beyond.
Christmas is not your Birthday - Pastor Mike Slaughter inspires readers to approach Christmas differently, and be transformed in the process.
Creative Christmas Outreach - ways to engage your congregation in fun, meaningful efforts that will extend a personal word of welcome to people in your community who are searching for connection.
Giving Tuesday - November 30 - a global generosity movement unleashing the power of radical generosity. GivingTuesday was created in 2012 as a simple idea: a day that encourages people to do good. Since then, it has grown into a year-round global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity.
Advent Communication graphics from United Methodist Communications
Seeker-Friendly Christmas events - great tips to make your event a success from Resource UMC.
Roll out the welcome mat - For some people, Christmas and Easter are the only times they go to church. Visitors seeking a church to call home—even a temporary home— want to feel welcomed. That is why it is critical for congregations to have a strategic plan for welcoming visitors, especially during holiday services.
Invite Christmas Eve guests to return - tips for inviting Christmas Eve visitors to return the next Sunday or in January.
Reimagine Advent: Discover the Liberating Christ worship resources from the General Commission on Religion and Race. Are we willing to rethink Advent and reach out to the Jesus of the refugees, the poor, and the marginalized, so that we may finally walk in the Light of Christ?
Resource for Disability Sunday Order of Worship (date can be flexible)
Engaging Advent - How do we see past the tinsel, the shiny wrapping, the Christmas songs that have been playing since October and the Black Friday specials that were announced well before Thanksgiving, to see where Light is already breaking through?
All Earth is Waiting - An advent devotional written through the lens of Creation and Creation Care. (Climate Justice)
TELL US WHAT YOU KNOW
Our Connection really does matter! We would love to hear about resources you are finding helpful in your ministry setting that we can share with other local churches. Please take a moment to email us your ideas: Kelly Roberson (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Suzanne Akins (email@example.com).