Advent at St. Peter's
Advent is a holy season for Christians, marking the start of the Christian year. In Advent we wait. We wait for a baby to be born in Bethlehem, but we also prepare for the presence of Jesus Christ in our hearts and in our lives. It is a time of preparation, of patience, and of spiritually grounding ourselves for the year to come. We offer a variety of resources to help make your Advent a holy one.
Being Christian: Baptism, Bible, Eucharist, Prayer
This Advent, we invite you to read Being Christian, a slim yet powerful guide to the essentials of Christianity written by former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams. It’s four sections, Baptism, Bible, Eucharist, and Prayer, make it a perfect devotional for the four weeks of Advent. Read at home (there are thoughtful reflection questions at the end of each chapter), or join us for one, a few, or all of our seasonal chats, at Panera on Tuesday evenings at St. Peter’s on Sunday mornings.
Week One: Baptism / Dec 1 @ 4:00 pm in the Chapel / Dec 2 @ 9:00 am in the Parish Hall / Dec 4 @ 7:00 pm at Panera on Route 537, Freehold
Week Two: Bible / Dec 8 @ 4:00 pm in the Chapel / Dec 9 @ 9:00 am in the Parish Hall / Dec 11 @ 7:00 pm at Panera on Route 537, Freehold
Week Three: Eucharist / Dec 15 @ 4:00 pm in the Chapel / Dec 16 @ 9:00 am in the Parish Hall / Dec 18 @ 7:00 pm at Panera on Route 537, Freehold
Week Four: Prayer / Dec 22 @ 4:00 pm in the Chapel / Dec 23 @ 9:00 am in the Parish Hall / TBD (Dec 27 or 28) at Panera on Route 537, Freehold
Many of our children spend Advent preparing for our annual Christmas Pageant, on December 24 at 4:00 pm. We have roles for young and old, speaking and non-speaking, from sheep and shepherds through to the Angel Gabriel! Join us for rehearsals following the 10:00 am service on the Advent Sundays.
December 2, 9, 16, 23 / 11:30 am / Church
Faith at Home in Advent
Advent is a great season to bring faith into the home! Although the society around us has already started celebrating Christmas, taking the time to intentionally slow down and emphasize the waiting nature of Advent is a good lesson for families. Here are some Advent resources to consider using in your home this season:
The Advent wreath is a visual symbol marking the progress of the season of Advent. Advent wreaths are traditionally a circle of evergreens with four candles, in either purple or blue, to symbolize the four weeks of Advent. Perhaps tradition appeals to you, or perhaps you'd like to try something new this year! Check out Pinterest or Etsy for some creative new takes on this wonderful tradition, or simply place four candles of any color on a tray on the table. One of our favorite websites, Grow Christians, has a great article on making your own family Advent wreath. Children love the anticipation of lighting the candles each night, adding a new candle each week.
Advent Journey Devotional and Coloring Pages
We are pleased to offer this wonderful resource from Illustrated Children's Ministry this season. This includes some beautiful, modern coloring pages illustrating the themes of the Gospel passages from this season, as well as some accessible reflection and devotional activities designed to engage both adults and children. We have copies available in the narthex or the Children's Resource Corner in the back of the church. Also recommended: their Illustrated Advent for Families!
Make a Jesse Tree
A Jesse Tree is a tree decorated with ornaments that symbolize a series of Bible stories leading up to the birth of Jesus. It is a wonderful activity for Advent because it symbolizes the waiting and preparation for the coming of our Lord into our lives. Trees can be big or small, and the internet, especially Pinterest, has lots of ideas for all sorts of ornaments, from humble and homemade to heirloom quality. There are Bible verses to go with each symbol, which can be read as part of Advent devotions.
Be part of this digital global Advent calendar, sponsored by the Society for St. John the Evangelist, Virginia Theological Seminary, and the Anglican Communion. Sign up here to receive a daily word to inspire prayer and meditation during your Advent journey this year. You can respond digitally and become part of this global, crowd-sourced calendar, anticipating the coming of Christ.