November 22, 2013

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Advent Resources, 2013 Edition I am getting really excited for the year to begin. No, not the calendar year...the Church's Year, the journey from Advent to Christmas, to Epiphany and Lent, through Easter and Pentecost, and down into Ordinary Time. But make no mistake: I'm no liturgical expert. After all, this is only my fifth journey through the liturgical year. But there's so much that I've come to love about it. It's a remarkably refreshing way to mark time. Here is a wonderful new calendar organized around the Church Calendar, yet easily compatible with our Roman calendar of months. For one, it helps us participate in the life of Christ by calling us into a rhtyhm that retraces His life on earth, His death, and His resurrection. Secondly, it helps us celebrate with the wider Body of Christ-- connecting us to the Church historic and the Church universal. [MORE RESOURCES ON THE CHURCH CALENDAR: I have excerpted and adapted something from a previous blog to make a new stand-alone blog on the Church Calendar and how observing as a spiritual practice can be helpful HERE. And, there's a beautiful art-filled calendar that looks like a wall-hanging calendar but each page is the new liturgical season...Check it out HERE.] ____________________ DATES, COLORS, AND THEMES: The Four Sundays: December 1 December 8 December 15 December 22 Colors and Themes: Week 1-- purple, HOPE Week 2-- purple, PEACE Week 3-- JOY Week 4-- purple, LOVE ____________________ PRAYERS: To me, it's hard to beat the prayers in the Book of Common Prayer (BCP). Find a link to the 1979 version free online HERE. There is also a nice iPhone app with lectionary readings and prayers out of both the RCL and the BCP. Download it HERE. First Sunday of Advent: BCP TRADITIONAL: Almighty God, give us grace that...
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GUEST POST: A Thoughtful DIY Advent Calendar [EDITOR'S NOTE: This is a guest post from our friend, Brooke Mikulas. Brooke is part of our new life downtown staff and is full of vision and creative ideas for bringing beauty and hope in practical ways. This was a fun and thoughtful creation for Advent that I thought you all may enjoy. For more Advent resources-- prayers, books, music and more-- click HERE.] A meaningful Advent Calendar anyone can make? Yes, please! Just over a year ago, my husband and I opened up our home and cottage to 9 other people. Call us crazy, but we're both extroverts, we both love people, and we both embrace the ways community can sharpen, shape and mold us. In the shared spaces of life, we discover not only who we are but also grasp the courage to embrace and live our unique identities. Not all things we do are intentional, but... For Christmas time this year, as a household I wanted to embrace Advent in a new way. How could we all be involved in a meaningful, reflective journey...that might remind us to participate in and celebrate the exuberant anticipation of Advent? I'd always wanted to make our own Advent calendar, but December always seemed to creep up so quickly. This year, December 1st rolled around and I decided this was the year. I grabbed some paper bag lunch sacks, some Christmasy tape, and ran to the store for some goodies. I imagined the calendar to have a diverse purpose by filling the baggies with challenges to stretch, Scriptures to edify, treats to enjoy, and gifts to add a sense of giddy, Christmasy wonder. I gave my housemates 2 rules after they picked random numbers for who gets what days: 1. You must complete or partake what's inside, and 2. You must...

Glenn Packiam

Lead Pastor, new life DOWNTOWN, New Life Church, Colorado Springs, CO. Author and songwriter.

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