[Episcopal Church Foundation Vital Practices] Links to free Advent resources, calendars and devotions, reflections, St. Nicholas Day, and preparing for Christmas visitors at your church.
Calendars and Devotions
2014 Advent Devotional Calendar – A beautiful, simple, and low tech calendar for Advent. Download, print, and share.
Celebrate Advent Using Your Camera Phones – Join Episcopal and Anglican churches around the world in celebrating Advent through prayer, meditation, and by contributing to a global Advent calendar on Instagram.
Advent Words – This Advent, the SSJE Brothers invite you to join them in looking clearly and honestly at our lives and taking action. Subscribe to their calendar and every day a new gift will arrive, offering you a moment of solace and reflection on the true meaning of Advent and the coming Christmas season.
Episcopal Relief & Development Advent Toolkit provides tools and inspiration to help plan and carry out an Advent program centered around Gifts for Life.
Advent Meditations – Daily meditations from the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland beginning November 30. Available in text and audio versions.
Who Will You Invite to the Manger? When Jesus was born, he was surrounded by parents, shepherds, and later the wise men. This reflection invites you to consider who do we welcome at the manger? How do we extend the invitation so that all feel welcome?
CREDO Advent Series – A collection of short, daily audio reflections presented by Barbara Crafton, this series is will also be available as a podcast. (From 2013)
Episcopal Intercultural Network – Each day during Advent, they are offering a daily devotion on their Facebook page. (From 2013)
Messiah: Joy is Foretold – Listen to musical selections while reading short reflections, this devotional book from St. John the Divine in Houston, Texas can be read and listened to online or downloaded to your computer. (From 2013)
From ECF Vital Practices
Advent: Taking it to the Streets – Our church brings ashes to the street on Ash Wednesday; how might we bring Advent to the streets during this hectic season?
Decorations – There is no war on Christmas, and if there is it’s not one the Episcopal church needs to fight.
Secrets of the Advent Artichoke – Feeling pressure to have everything done already? “Secrets of the Advent artichoke” for a season in which we prepare and anticipate
What Fresh Hell is This? – The wait demanded of us in Advent is a more difficult one with no tangible outcome accessible to us. A reflection to think about Advent through Joseph’s eyes as he travels to Bethlehem with Mary.
Preparing for Visitors
Advent Parish Checklist – Use this handy checklist for getting your church ready for visitors during Advent and Christmas.
Amp Up Your Hospitality – We all know that you can’t judge a book by its cover, but first impressions DO matter and we use them.
Christmas Messages – Short, simple, and powerful. Create a video message or ad for Christmas that’s easy to produce.
Hospitality Matters: Seeing Our Buildings Anew – What people see – or don’t see – when entering your church can make a lasting impression.
Prepare the Way for Visitors – In Advent we prepare the way for the birth of Jesus, but are visitors going to be able to find their way to your congregation at Christmas?
What ARE You Saying? – What we try to say – or forget to say – can make it difficult for visitors to feel welcome.
More From Mustard Seed Associates
A Journey Toward Home: Soul Travel For Advent to Lent – Who will we invite to the manger? An Advent/Christmas devotional from Mustard Seed Associates.
Advent Activities for Families and Kids – From making the better known Advent wreath to Advent spirals and Advent gardens and more…
Getting Ready for Advent/Christmas: Worship Resources for the Season – a collection of resources from around the world.
What About Simplifying This Christmas? Prayers and resources to help individuals and families simplify Christmas.
St. Nicholas Day
Celebrating St. Nichoals – Activities, articles, recipes, and more from the St. Nicholas Center.
St. Nicholas Connecting the Past and the Present – Richelle Thompson shares what happened when St. Nicholas visited her congregation.
St. Nicholas Day Resources – Jim Rosenthal shares tools for offering an in-depth look at Santa.
Resources from Around the Web
Advent in 2 Minutes – Not quite sure how to explain what exactly Advent is? This video by Busted Halo can help.
Children’s Sermons for Advent – These sermons are appropriate for churches of any size and with any number of children, ranging in age from young children to youth.
Reflection on Advent Video – Rowan Williams, the former archbishop of Canterbury shares an Advent Reflection.
The Advent Wreath at Home – Ideas for making an Advent wreath at home and reflection questions for discussion.