ADVENT WREATH OR CANDLE ARRANGEMENT MAKING EVENT
An event to make Advent wreaths or candle arrangements together provides the chance to a) reaffirm spiritual focus (or begin to consider it), b) to do something practically useful while enjoying fellowship and c) promote connection between generations and groups.
This is an activity that women are likely to enjoy, but it can easily include teens, children and men. (To free women up to enjoy the wreath-making, you might encourage men to take the lead with the children’s activities, music and food.)
While adults and teens make Advent wreaths or candle arrangements, the leader can share about their purpose and how to use them. The same focus could be shared with children as they make their crafts.
If you are doing this in a corps setting, the best times to do it are probably a Saturday morning or afternoon (December 2nd) or the first Sunday of Advent, December 3rd, either following the service or in the evening. Use either a round-robin, workshop rotational model approach or an activity flow in accord with the number of people who have pre-registered and pre-paid.
If you are doing this in a home setting with relatives or friends, then just make sure that you have stations set up in advance, and be prepared for a more relaxed flow.
BIBLE STUDY OPPORTUNITIES
Why not try something uncomplicated and different to mark the uniqueness of the Advent season during your regular Bible Study or small group? This could also be a great way to invite new people for a short series.
The Women of Christmas: Experience the Season Afresh with Elizabeth, Mary and Anna by Liz Curtis Higgs. $12 new on Amazon
The study of this group could be limited to Advent (three sessions) or get started in November (four to eight sessions). Requiring paid pre-registration for participants to cover the book’s costs mayl reduce headaches for the leader. Some leaders might opt to use the book as the main helper to their teaching and discussion-leading, without expecting participants to read the book. Each chapter will take an average reader about 20 minutes to read, so this book is well-suited for a “short” Advent.
Download the Reading Group Materials HERE!
Using a different approach to Bible Study will keep things fresh during the holiday season, but it does not have to involve more work. Lectio Divina (“divine reading”) is an ancient way to approach Scripture reading that involves re-reading the same passage multiple times with a slightly different focus each time. It was first practiced formally in Benedictine monasteries in the 6th century. Embraced by Calvin, Zwingli and Wesley, Lectio is beneficial individually and in groups. A leader can guide a group through the process for three or four gatherings during Advent and encourage participants to practice it at home during their personal quiet times.
During Advent, short sections from gospels like Luke 1-2:5, Matthew 1:18-24, John 1:1-14 will be helpful. Particularly for participants new to Lectio Divina or personal study of the Bible, focusing on the Advent narratives will help them to re-see familiar stories or to hear new-for-them texts in a deeper way.
A leader wishing to emphasize the weekly themes of Advent and the foreshadowing of Christ may prefer to use texts from Isaiah:
- Peace – Isaiah 2:1-5
- Hope – Isaiah 11:1-10
- Joy – Isaiah 35:1-10
- Promise – Isaiah 7:10-16
Download Lectio Divina Group Materials HERE!