Advent 4 and Christmas: Love

Joyce VanceLiturgical Year, Prayer, Spiritual Practices

Fourth Sunday of Advent and Christmas: We blow out the candle of fear and light the candle of love. Lectionary texts: Isaiah 9:2-7; Luke 2:1-20 A child has been born! During the time of preparation, expectant parents have both joy and fear; hope and anxiety; confidence and doubt. What will the child be like? How will their world change when he or she is born? When will the arrival take place? Will the child be … Read More

Advent 3: Advent Joy

Tammy WiensLiturgical Year, Prayer, Spiritual Practices

Third Sunday of Advent: We blow out the candle of bitterness and light the candle of joy. Lectionary texts: Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11; Luke 1:46-55 Mary’s song in Luke 1 is known as The Magnificat. This title grows out of a Latin tradition where titles assigned to segments of Scripture are based on the first word or line of the text. Magnificat is the Latin word for “magnify.” The lyrics of Mary’s song are a medley … Read More

Advent 2: Advent Peace

Jill Ver SteegLiturgical Year, Prayer, Spiritual Practices

We blow out the candle of confrontation and light the candle of peace. Lectionary Texts: Isaiah 40:1-11, Mark 1:1-8 The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. This is Mark’s way of saying “Genesis.” This is the genesis of all things. Even as Genesis chapter one, verse one, took us out into the wastes of formless void and primordial chaos before God spoke and created a good world, so Mark … Read More

Advent 1: Advent Hope

Jen deCombeLiturgical Year, Prayer, Spiritual Practices

First Sunday of Advent: We blow out the candle of despair and in its place we light the candle of hope. Lectionary Readings: Isaiah 64:1-9, Mark 13:24-37 This year’s first Gospel reading of the Advent season comes as a shock to many of us. Unlike the images of Christmas that surround us, there are no joyful angels shining in the sky or three wise men bearing gifts. The only stars in this reading are the … Read More

Faith Practices with Children

Priscilla Andre-ColtonSpiritual Practices

About two years ago we had a group of adults exploring faith practices using Dorothy C. Bass’ book Practicing Our Faith: A Way of Life for a Searching People. They were thoroughly enjoying learning new ways to experience God’s presence in their everyday lives. One mom commented, “I wish we could do something like this with our children.” It got me thinking and searching. Then I discovered Living Well: Christian Practices for Everyday Life, edited … Read More

Looking Ahead to Summer Ministry: Spiritual Practices for Camp Worship, Mission Trips, and Summer Worship

Sandy SaffordSpiritual Practices

Planning for a group worship time this summer? Try one of these practices, from Sandy Safford. Washed Clean This activity focuses on the practice of forgiveness–on receiving a fresh start, a clean slate, a new beginning through the grace of God. Supplies Oriental rice paper (sold by the roll at stores that carry art supplies), cut into 3-4 inch squares Washable markers (brown & black are preferable) Large clear glass/plastic bowl, filled with water Reflective … Read More