Practicing Advent

by susan on November 29, 2017

Last Sunday, we gathered with Church Without Walls, a community made up of people from many different walks of life. Black, brown, white, rich & poor neighbors came together to listen, pray, fellowship & share communion together. We were are all hungry & thirsty for something – some for food & drink, some for friendship & belonging, others for hope & change.

Last Sunday also happened to be “Christ the King Sunday” & we were told by the preacher of the day that those gathered were a beautiful reminder of God’s kingdom.

And all I could think was…if this is what the kingdom of God is like, then no wonder I resist it. No wonder I miss it.

It’s so uncomfortable. It’s also risky, awkward, costly, simple yet powerful, messy, surprising, hard to control & even harder to manage…it’s so much of what I try my best to avoid. 

Maybe that’s why the very next Sunday is the start of Advent. It’s the start of a new year for Christ followers. It’s our yes-you-are-going-to-blow-it, but you get to start over again & again reminder.  It’s our yes, you are going to miss the point, the mark & the Jesus in your midst, so here you go. Try again.

As we flip the calendar to Advent this Sunday, there’s hope for us & for our world. We can look back & remember how the kingdom of God has already been coming, look around at how it’s still coming & look forward to a future arrival. We can learn to practice Advent.

You can move through Advent in a few ways with us, beginning this Sunday.

Weekly Readings & Candle Lighting: The words of the prophets will help us wake up & the message of John will help us welcome the Christ child. Each Sunday, we will also be lighting candles to help us recognize the Light that has & is coming into the world & the practices that help us participate in that coming.

  • Defiance. Week of Nov. 27-Dec. 3: Daniel 3:1, 8-30
  • Hope. Week of Dec. 4-10: Ezekiel 37:1-14
  • Generosity. Week of December 11-17: Isaiah 55:1-13
  • Love. Week of December 18-24: John 1:1-18

Sunday Gatherings:

  • December 3, 17, 24: We gather at the Karpeles Museum at 10:30 a.m. to pray, explore scripture & share communion together. You are welcome to begin arriving at 10 a.m. for coffee & conversation & to bring breakfast food to share.
  • December 10: We are hosting a community Brunch & Gift Market at Hyperion Brewing Co. from 10 a.m.-noon. By bringing people together, giving the opportunity to purchase meaningful gifts & supporting women who are learning to sew a new story for their lives, we are practicing hope. There will also be an opportunity to engage in conversation & are sharing in response to the questions, “what gives you hope?”.

Homemade or Upcylced Gift Exchange: On Sunday, December 3rd, we will draw names for our homemade (or upcycled) gift exchange. This Well tradition was inspired by our journey through the Advent Conspiracy & has been a fun way to share meaningful gifts with one another. Gifts will be given before our Sunday gathering on December 17th.

Christmas Eve with Church Without Walls, St. John’s Lutheran & St. Mary’s Episcopal: At 4 p.m. on Christmas Eve, you are invited to join us for a community Christmas Eve gathering to celebrate the birth of Christ. It’s an outdoor gathering at 325 N. Market Street & is a simple gathering for prayer, scripture, singing & celebrating together. If you are able, bring cookies or other treats to share.

Other Gatherings during Advent:

  • Wednesday, December 6th: Farewell Party for the Littles at Kevin & Susan’s, 6:30 p.m. Bring a side dish to share.
  • Thursday, December 7th: Beer & Hymns Christmas Carol Edition, 7:30 p.m. at Bold City Brewery
  • Wednesday, December 13th: Dinner gathering, 6:30 p.m. Place TBA.
  • Wednesday, December 20th: Springfield Christmas Caroling, 6:30 p.m. Meet in Klutho Park.

 

**CHANGE OF PLANS FOR SUNDAY, SEPT 17th**

by susan on September 16, 2017

If Irma has taught us anything, it’s how to go with the flow!

We learned yesterday that the Karpeles has some continued flooding that prevents us from meeting there. SO, we are taking that as a nudge to get outdoors & to continue helping to clean up our community.

You are invited to meet at Kevin & Susan’s (1443 Silver St.) at 10 a.m., to bring breakfast food to share & then we will head out at 10:30 a.m. to pick up storm debris & trash & whatever else needs attention. We also need some supplies taken over to the new Red Cross Shelter at Southside Baptist Church.

If you know of another post-Irma need that we can respond to, please feel free to make a suggestion. Otherwise, bring gloves (if you have them – we will have extra plastic ones & trash bags) a rake or two & a willingness to get a little sweaty & join us!

Flood waters, liberation & the God who hears our cries

September 6, 2017

This message was shared during our Sunday gathering on September 3, 2017 & is a response to Exodus 3:1-15. It’s been a week of intense flooding in Houston & years of battling deadly flooding in other places around the world. It’s hard to imagine how stuck residents of Houston, of Mumbai India, of Nepal & […]

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Exodus & our journey toward liberation

September 1, 2017

Not only are we beginning to gather in a new space this Sunday, we are also starting to explore a new series of scriptures. As we depart a place we’ve been gathering in for the past two years, it seems fitting to begin hearing the story of how God initiates the movement of an entire […]

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When we get it wrong (because we do)

August 21, 2017

This message was shared on Sunday, August 20th as part of a series in preparation for our community’s celebration of baptism. We have explored how baptism symbolizes our “second birth” & our participation in Jesus’ death & resurrection. This week, we considered baptism as going public with becoming a life-long learner of the Way. 10Then he […]

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Another Beginning & A Second Birth

August 10, 2017

Throughout the month of August, we are reflecting on the meaning of baptism & preparing to celebrate baptism together. These “Words for the Journey” were shared on Sunday, August 6, 2017 & are based on Genesis 1:1-2 & John 3:1-8.  I have had the privilege of celebrating baptism with several people in my short life as […]

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Father’s day, S-Town & the stories that shape us

June 19, 2017

Father’s day conjures up different emotions for each of us. It can be a hard day for many, particularly for those who’ve lost their dads, have dads that have disregarded them or those who’ve never even known their dads. It can be a day of celebration for many other. I n either case, days like […]

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Why we’re gathering at the new neighborhood brewery…

June 17, 2017

We are so excited about tomorrow’s brunch gathering at Hyperion Brewing Co & hope you plan to be there! Just a few reminders/thoughts/things to consider… 5 reasons why we are hosting brunch at Hyperion: 1. It’s a great way to be present & partnering with our neighbors. 2. We get to support & encourage 2 […]

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No More Outsiders

May 31, 2017

[This message was shared on Sunday, May 29th in response to Acts 15:1-19.] What’s it like to be an “insider”? What’s it like to know the rules of the group, to fit in neatly, to know you belong? On the other hand, what’s it like to be an “outsider”? What’s it like to wonder what […]

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Presence is Everything

May 23, 2017

Sunday, May 21 – – Words for the Journey [The following message was shared as part of our Sunday worship gathering and in response to Acts 8:26-39.] On Wednesday night, we began a new 3D group series and we started our post-dinner conversation with this question: If we are all learners, then what is life teaching you […]

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