For many, opening the Advent calendar door each day in the days before Christmas is a happy thing. These days, adult-oriented Advent calendars are increasingly popular with doors opening up to beer, tea, makeup, and the perennially popular chocolate. In this season of the church, many also take up a daily devotional practice to open up their observance of Advent and welcome the coming of Christ.
Last year the diocese produced an Advent devotional for individuals and small groups to journey together through the season. Written by the former executive director of the Primate’s World Relief and Development fund, Adele Finney, the devotional had 175 subscribers. In a survey of subscribers after the season, a large majority of the surveyed said they’d like a similar resource again, so we’re producing another emailed Advent calendar for 2019. From that survey, readers also made the following comments:
“very relevant meditations”
“I loved the fact that the emails arrived as early in the morning as they did so I could engage in the quiet time!”
“[it] really made me pause and think, often from a perspective I hadn't thought about before”
This year Archbishop Melissa Skelton on each Sunday through Advent will offer a reflection. She has written devotional guides for the seasons of the church year and is expert at igniting Christian imagination through making connections between art, poetry, and our daily lives. On the other days of Advent over fifteen spiritual directors throughout the diocese will offer their reflections. Spiritual directors are lay and ordained people who have trained and are skilled in the ministry of listening. Spiritual direction has a long and rich tradition in the Anglican church.
Each day of the Advent Calendar includes a selected image, hymn, or poem that evokes the actions of Advent: waiting, longing, anticipating, expecting, and preparing. The art is a means for awakening our minds and hearts to renew our journey through Advent once more. Each reflection will end with a question for the reader to contemplate for the day.
It’s easy to sign-up for this emailed Advent calendar and it’s free to subscribe.
The emails will begin on December 1.
The Reverend Jessica Schaap, Missioner for Christian Formation, Diocese of New Westminster Photo: Cliff Caprani