Four Ways Your Church Can Help Every Household Celebrate Advent

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I’ve always loved the idea of an Advent wreath. Lighting a different candle each week leading up to Christmas while meditating on themes of peace, hope, joy, and love really resonates with me. What doesn’t resonate with me is the thought of climbing into the crawlspace where we stash our Christmas decorations in search of a wreath, driving to the dollar store to buy purple and pink candles, and then finding a set of devotions that my family will actually do.

And so as much as I’ve always loved the idea of an advent wreath, I’ve yet to experience lighting one at home. That’s why, although I’m a firm believer in the importance of suggesting a variety of practices for people to try at home, I’m an even stronger proponent of actually giving people the tools they need to engage in the practice so they don’t have to expend energy searching for those tools.

Below you’ll find a list of tools for households of all shapes and sizes. Prepare and share them in November as a way to support faith formation in December.

  • Households with young children will appreciate going home with this Advent Prayer Bag. (Another option for this age group is this 99 cent Advent Wreath.)
  • Families with school aged children a printed copy of this free Advent Calendar by Traci Smith, author of Faithful Families. Share it via social media too for those who weren’t there on distribution day.
  • Invite everyone to participate in a daily photo challenge using this list #pictureadvent word and daily devotional reading list. Encourage people to share their pics on your church social media pages, within their small groups, between family members, or all of the above.  
  • Create and share a collaborative Spotify playlist of Advent and Christmas songs. Include songs you’ll be singing during worship and invite all ages to suggest their favorites as well.

Family faith is formed at home, but it’s also formed in community life as together we include, encourage, and equip families. For more ideas on supporting all ages in your church this December, open the Advent and Christmas resource lists in the Family Faith Formation toolkit from Faith Formation Ministries.

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These are fabulous ideas!  I keep coming across the Advent Prayer Bag - I think that I'm supposed to do something with that. Thank you!

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We really appreciated this devotional last year.  We printed off and hung all the Jesse Tree ornaments on a bare branch and hope to do the same again this coming year. 

https://network.crcna.org/books-crc-authors/jesse-tree-advent-devotional-practice

And Back to God Ministries has one available for this year too: https://network.crcna.org/family-ministry/jesse-tree-family-devotional-and-craft-advent