Faith Nurture, Family Ministry
Family Faith Formation Resources for Advent
May 18, 2021
Updated November 2, 2021
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This article is part of the Family Faith Formation Toolkit - a collection of resources for equipping ministry leaders, parents, and caregivers with family faith practices and resources, brought to you by Faith Formation Ministries.
In the following links you’ll find creative Advent resources and practices to use both in community and at home. These ideas can be seamlessly woven into existing church programs and into family life.
Advent: In Community
Depending on your context, people may have different understandings of Advent. Check out these videos as an option for opening doors to deeper conversations:
Invite people of all ages at your church to prepare their hearts for Advent as they walk through an Illuminated Advent Path.
This post from Theresa Cho contains a variety of Advent-themed interactive prayer stations and intergenerational worship ideas that engage all ages.
Download, print, and distribute these wonderful, free Praying in Color: Advent Templates pages from author Sybil MacBeth. They are a wonderful way for all ages to mark the daily journey to Advent with prayers and drawings.
Intergenerational Ideas for Advent is a treasure trove of faith-forming intergenerational Advent tools.
Invite the whole church to prepare together for the coming of Jesus through a Jesse Tree project. Jesse Tree: Intergenerational Idea for Advent and We: Expectations both include ideas for how to do this. Read how one CRC hosted a WE Jesse Tree event.
Everyone in God’s family can participate in creating their own Reverse Advent Calendar while visiting interactive worship stations like the ones created by Presbyterian Church Educator Krista Lovell.
In the Advent: At Home section below you’ll find ideas for Advent Prayer bags and Advent in a Box. What if you took those ideas one step further and created Advent kits for everyone in your congregation to take home in November? What all-ages activities might you include?
A posada is an Advent candlelight procession and celebration that reenacts Mary and Joseph’s search for a place where Mary could give birth to Jesus. In Mexico and other countries, it is traditional to hold posadas in neighborhoods on the days preceding Christmas. A posada teaches that by welcoming the poor and the needy we are welcoming Jesus in our midst. (See Matthew 25:40.) Room in the Inn: Ideas for Celebrating Posadas is a free resource from Forward Movement that includes practical suggestions for congregations that would like to hold posadas as a way to engage children and neighbors.
If you have a church library, create a table display of Christmas storybooks for families to borrow.
Advent: At Home
The post Go On, Play with Your Nativity Creche provides families with ideas for using a nativity scene to engage their children with the Christmas story. The video Every Day in December brings playing with your creche to life. (The video shows Willow Tree nativity figurines, but any nativity scene of your choosing will work.)
Looking for an easy, fun, and meaningful Advent devotional for families? We think This Might Be the Best Jesse Tree Set Ever. Click the link to access a fabulous set of free, downloadable devotions, ornaments and ideas for how to use them.
Point parents to the wonderful, free Praying in Color: Advent Templates pages as a way to personally mark each day to Advent.
Two Super Simple Advent Ideas for Families shows how stones and wooden blocks can help families celebrate Advent.
Share this idea for Advent Prayer bags with families with young children. Better yet, enlist the help of some volunteers to prepare the bags in November as an Advent gift for the families at your church. For school-age children, check out these ideas for Advent in a Box.
This list of the Top Ten Advent and Christmas Ideas includes a printable booklet for families.
In her post describing an easy Advent wreath that families can make at home, Heather Sleighthold says, “Believe me, your children won’t remember what kind of candles you used, or how fancy the whole setup is. What they will remember most is this time with you—of getting to help and be included. And it will also make an impression on them about what the season of Advent truly means, and the joy that can be found in the waiting.” We agree!
Share this list of A Christmas Collection of Children’s Story Books with families (and grandparents!).
Faithful Families for Advent and Christmas: 100 Ways to Make the Season Sacred is a wonderfully accessible resource for parents, grandparents, and ministry leaders alike. Written by Presbyterian pastor and parent Traci Smith, the book contains easily adaptable prayers, practices and stories to help families celebrate the sacred together.
These Advent Devotions use a simple Share, Read, Talk, Pray, Bless format and work well with or without an Advent wreath.
We Wonder Advent is a daily contemplative advent podcast for families with elementary school aged children.
Families with young children will enjoying viewing and singing along to the Hey, Mary! video.
If you’re part of the Christian Reformed Church in North America and you have questions about how to equip ministry leaders, parents, and caregivers with family faith practices and resources, one of Faith Formation Ministries’ Regional Catalyzers would love to talk with you about ideas and strategies.
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