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.

 

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