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.
The Bible Challenge
The Social Justice Bible Challenge is a 40-day reading plan that we will begin on December 3 (Advent I). We will continue to read through Christmas and into Epiphany. Although we will read individually, by participating in a larger group we will be supported in spirit and prayer by the whole St. Peter's community. Participants are asked to purchase the book ($12 per copy), available from the church office, or $10 per e-book, available from Amazon.
The Bible Challenge began as a simple idea: to encourage daily reading of scripture. There is no other book in the world that can so transform the human heart, motivate the human spirit, and give us the mind that was in Christ Jesus himself. Join us this Advent as we prepare for Christ's arrival in this world by reading the Bible and growing our love of Jesus.
LIFE 2.0 Advent Workshop
This year, our traditional Advent Workshop takes a prayerful turn. We will have several multi-generational Prayer Stations set up in the Parish Hall following the 10:00 am worship service on December 3. Please come, participate, and find or share some ways to focus on our Savior's arrival in our lives this season.
December 3 / 11:30 am / Parish Hall
Advent Evening Prayer Services
In the Church, Advent is a season of readiness. Advent prepares us for the One to come. With prayer and meditation, Advent becomes the path or way which opens and enlightens the darkness of our minds and hearts for the visitors at Bethlehem. To celebrate the Advent Season, the Daughters of the King will lead three Advent Evening Prayer Services on Wednesday evenings in the Chapel at 7:00 pm. Please join the Daughters during this Holy Season of preparation.
December 6, 13, 20 / 7:00 pm / Chapel
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:
- Advent Wreaths
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, but you can also order your own set of Coloring Pages and the Devotional Guide. 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.