Alissa Bender
Slideshow image

The scripture texts we hear this Advent are full of questions, cries, and longings which echo our own. So, we ask this Advent, What are you waiting for? We ask this of God as we witness all that needs transformation in our world. We ask this of ourselves as we count down to Christmas once again. We ask it of each other, knowing that the holidays can heighten quiet struggles of loneliness, conflict, and grief. And we ask this question with open hands, trusting the coming of Christ to startle us once again with unexpected love and scandalous grace.  In our weekly worship themes, we will ask Questions of Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love. What are you waiting for right now? How are you waiting for what God will do? Here are some possible practices to be aware and observant in your waiting this Advent.

Prayer & Reflection

Click here for a list of the season's Scripture texts, to do your own reading and reflecting.

Sacred Advent is a daily email prayer break with Scripture and related reflections, with suggestions for further exploration. Sacred Advent is based on Sacred Space—the trusted online prayer site by the Irish Jesuits.

LEAD (Living Every day As Disciples) offers another daily email - Advent Intentions to reflect upon at the start of your day.

Everyday Abbey offers God's Hospitality, simple questions for weekly reflection on Scripture and ways to respond on the theme of becoming vulnerable to being welcomed by others. 

Common Prayer, a liturgy for ordinary radicals is daily prayer you can follow year-round.

Goshen College faculty, staff, and students conutribute to daily Advent (and Lent) devotionals, based on the lectionary Scriptures, that you can receive by email or read on their website.

Jan Richardson invites people to a contemplative Advent of art, music, and reflection through Illuminated: An online journey into the heart of Christmas.

CommonWord at Mennonite Church Canada has many options of books to borrow for the Advent season, and some resources can also be found in the HMC prayer room.

Great for Kids (and adults)

Advent-At-Home is a booklet of worship ideas and activities, designed with families with young children in mind and matching the worship themes from Mennonite Church Canada/USA.

Illustrated Ministry makes thoughtful devotionals, colouring pages, and crafts that bring the Bible and church seasons to life. Browse their family resources and other Advent items. SALT is another organization that makes devotional items to purchase and download.

The Jesus Storybook Bible has a free downloadable Advent guide that includes printable ornaments and activity ideas.

Christine Sine at her Godspace blog has lots more ideas for doing Advent with children, like Advent colouring pages, an ADVENTure prayer walk, and lots of calendars or wreaths.

Here's a colouring book of the Christmas story from the United Church of Canada.

Here are some ideas for Advent stories for children and Christmas story books for children.

Advent Calendars

Advent Calendars aren't only filled with chocolate. Here are some that offer various practices for each day of the season:
Meaningful daily practices
Questions to reflect on
Praying in Colour
With kids especially in mind, watch this video at Simplistic Happiness for a creative, versatile Advent calendar full of meaningful family activites. Or use some of these ideas for an Acts of Kindness Advent calendar.

#AdventWord is a global, online Advent calendar, offering meditations and images to connect to daily Advent themes, and to which you can add your own images using the hashtag #AdventWord and the word of the day.

A Reverse Advent Calendar is a daily practice of generosity. Instead of receiving chocolate, you give a gift of food each day to count down until Christmas, and then donate it all to a Food Bank, like the one at Welcome Inn.

Giving

There are many more ways to enter into the generosity of the season. For example, supporting the Christmas giving suggestions of organizations like MCC and MEDA

In Advent worship at HMC, the children will be collecting for our annual Advent Giving Project. Click here for details and to contribute.