Some more links for your Advent inspiration:
A calendar from Busted Halo here with a “micro challenge” for each day.
November 29th, 2011
I had all the presents back at my apartment, I was halfway through wrapping them, and I realized, “Damn, I used the wrong wrapping paper.” The paper I used said, “Happy Birthday.” I didn’t want to waste it, so I just wrote “Jesus” on it. — Demetri Martin
Micro-challenge: Keep in mind whose birthday we’re looking forward to, and donate a toy to a charity like Toys for Tots or to a gift program at your local parish.
St. Luke’s, Evanston IL offers a daily meditation and music for Advent here. Scroll down to the lower left corner to find the link.
The Rev. Jeannette DeFriest writes, “Many [Advent Calendars] are all in print but ours is an mp3 file so those 6 minutes can be experienced in the car or train with eyes closed at the start of the day. Each day has a piece of scripture, then a brief reflection or commentary offered by me or one of my 4 colleagues, and then organ/ choir offering a slice of the advent hymn of the week.”
The Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs Media Release encourages churches to share thoughts and observe Advent and Christmas through social media:
The Episcopal Church Office of Communications is offering myriad avenues to enjoy, share, and actively participate in observing Advent, Christmas and Epiphany.
Starting on the first day of Advent – Sunday November 27 – the Episcopal Church Facebook and Twitter features special Advent and Christmas elements: conversation-starting inquiries, a word of the day, videos, and links to Advent resources.
Questions to be posed run the gamut of Advent and Christmas experiences and ideas, among them: What’s your favorite Christmas pageant memory? Do you celebrate St. Nicholas Day? Do you have ideas for making an Advent calendar?
Using Brother, Give Us A Word, offered by the Society of St John the Evangelist, a daily significant word related to Advent will be posted to Facebook and Twitter.
Videos include vignettes on personal reflections by Episcopalians, selected holiday musical features, and the Advent Message from Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori.
On the web:
Share your thoughts and observe Advent and Christmas through Episcopal Church social media
Society of St John the Evangelist word of the day
Choral Evensong: Advent Carol Service from St. John’s College, Cambridge, UK on BBC Radio 3. Click here. Link is good for a week so listen now.
As we expect this particular child, Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh, we have choices to make. How will we live? Where will we attend church? How will we worship? How will we spend our money? Sometimes we do not even realize that we are making a choice—we are simply “used to” doing or saying a cer tain thing. Maybe we think that is “the way it has always been done.” Even the choice to follow a tradition, or to say the first words that come to mind, is a choice.
Words Matter is a project that explores the importance of paying attention to the words we use—even those we choose unconsciously. We have asked people from all kinds of backgrounds to tell stories of a time when they noticed the importance of words, and found that everyone has had a story to tell. We know that words can wound even deeper than sticks and stones. But when it comes to traditional religious words—the words we use for God, or in worship liturgies, scripture readings, hymns or prayers—we don’t feel we have much choice.
Are our stories part of the Sacred Story? What makes a story “holy?” What is our responsibility to articulate for ourselves the words and images for God that speak to our own souls? How did we learn the words for our own stories? Must we rely on an outside authority to tell us which words are acceptable? Can we believe the Spirit might work through even us, just as Isaiah, John the Baptist, and Mary are called to witness to the work of God in their own lives? Which words and images ex- pand our community of believers?
This Advent devotional will explore these questions, offering a diversity of stories and meditations for contemplation during Advent. Let us allow them to whirl and eddy within our swelling minds and bodies as we find ourselves expecting the Word.
The Words Matter Committee
Justice for Women Working Group
National Council of Churches, USA