By this point in November, two groups of people have Christmas on the brain: 1) those who work in retail and who are frantically stocking their shelves with all that glitters and 2) those who work in faith formation ministries and who are frantically searching their shelves for advent gold.
Retail workers, you’re on your own. Church leaders—help is on the way. Check out this treasure trove of faith forming, intergenerational Advent tools and ideas for how to use them.
Get Everyone on the Same (Coloring) Page
- Order a set of the fabulous Giant Advent Coloring posters from Illustrated Children’s Ministry. Some ideas for how to use them:
- Set up a table with poster and coloring markers in the coffee area after church for all ages to access together.
- Invite each Sunday school class to color a section.
- Pass the posters from group to group from now until Christmas so that all ages have the opportunity to contribute.
- Make the posters available for children (and others who enjoy meditative coloring!) to quietly color during the worship service.
- Display the finished project for all to enjoy.
- Tip: be sure to tell folks that it’s the process not the product that’s important—coloring outside the lines is fine!
Invite All Ages to Join a Daily Photo Challenge
- Use the wonderful lists available through #pictureadvent or the Jesse Tree Instagram 2016 photo-a-day calendars as a guide. (Both sites also include sign-ups for devotionals and ways to participate with churches everywhere.)
- Share the photos with each on via social media and/or use them to create a PowerPoint loop that can be shared during worship.
- Talk with each other—in Sunday school, in youth group, intergenerational groups and others—about why you chose the photos you did.
Know Your Family Tree
- Get the whole church together for a fun Intergenerational Advent Event in which you make Jesse Tree ornaments together. Tip: offer it after morning worship when everyone is there anyway! (WE: Expectations is an excellent resource; this RCA site also contains helpful ideas.)
- Too late to organize an event? Mark it down for next year and then point people to the RCA Jesse Tree site and/or the Advent Practice for Families page, both of which contain Scripture readings and ideas for ornaments to go with them.
Connect with Your Community
- Now is the time to connect with a community partner and plan a way that an intergenerational group from your church can contribute to their work. Some ideas: serving at a soup kitchen, singing carols at a Long Term Care Facility, volunteering to wrap gifts for a community fundraiser, packaging toiletry kits for a shelter. Who knows? Your Christmastime partnership could turn into a long term relationship in which you serve your city together.
And, because the clock is ticking and your Christmas to do list is growing, here are two past posts to check out: stock your library now with selections from a Christmas Collection of Children’s Storybooks and consider ways you might use one of these Two Intergenerational Christmas Participation Stories.
How about you? What Advent tools are you looking forward to using this year? What have you found helpful in the past?