I don’t know about you, but it seems like this year has been flying by! In just twelve days we’ll begin the month of November and turn our thoughts toward Advent and Christmas. I’m not sure I’m ready. But it seems I’m always caught by surprise by the last quarter of the year. It’s a bit like the gas gauge on my car; the first three quarters of a tank seem to go on forever, but as soon as I reach that last quarter-tank it’s gone before I know it!
This year we decided to begin preparing for Advent a month early. As we explored blog themes for the final quarter of 2016 we really felt that Advent, a time of waiting and preparation for Christmas, needed its own time of preparation. This is important because Advent kicks off the church year, yet we’re often so proccupied with parties and planning for Christmas that it’s difficult to settle down and enter in to the season.
To help us slow down and focus we’re breaking our monthly theme up into weekly mini-themes both in November and December.
November: Preparing Our Hearts and Homes for Advent and Christmas
- Week 1: Overcoming Consumerism — Resisting the drive for more.
- Week 2: Resting in Chaos — How to create space for rest when the world is whipped up into a frenzy.
- Week 3: Keeping It Simple
- Week 4: Making Space for Hospitality — Ideas for gatherings of welcome and moments of connecting.
December: Entering the World with Jesus: Looking for Jesus in all the right places
- Week 1: …in our home
- Week 2: …in our neighborhood
- Week 3: …in our city
- Week 4: …in our world
Advent Photo Challenge is Back!
We will also have a daily meditation and photo/art challenge again from Jean Andrianoff. Jean has worked hard to make these reflections fit into our mini-themes while also following the story of God coming into the world as it unfolds in scripture. We’ll have the Advent photo challenge up and ready to view the week before Advent begins.
Be sure to join us on this entire journey by reading, commenting, reposting and even writing for the blog.
Christine and I had a mutually inspiring visit with our friends at A Rocha in British Columbia. We led a garden workshop focusing on creating sacred spaces that are inviting to both God and neighbor. I know we both left feeling deeply blessed and enriched.
From there we scurried south to St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Tacoma, WA where Christine presented a workshop on Celtic spirituality for their Celtic Faire. After the workshop we were invited to stay for their Celtic dinner and the “piping in of the haggis”. What a wonderfully rich weekend!
While we were traveling the Pacific NW, Tom was busy in the Twin Cities at Colonial Church connecting with their exciting program, Innove, a community entrepreneurial competition for young folks to “create social and cultural betterment”. Tom will be in Birmingham, UK for the New Parish UK Conference Nov. 10-11, and the New Wine Urban Forum Nov. 17-19. Tom and Christine will be speaking together in Sydney and Melbourne, Australia Dec. 6-9.
- Leroy Barber and his new book, Embrace
- Brenda Salter McNeil and her new book, Roadmap to Reconciliation
- Soong-Chan Rah and his newest book, Prophetic Lament
In case you missed it before, we’re always looking to expand our community of writers. If you think you might be interested, or maybe just want to try writing one post to see how it goes, please check out our writer’s FAQ page then drop us an email to find out more.
Please continue to pray:
- For our board of directors as they help us walk through this important time of transition and discernment.
- For Gil George’s continued healing following a bicycle accident in July.
- For upcoming travel and speaking engagements.
- For Christine and Tom as they navigate the changes in their lives.
- And for me as I continue to adjust to my new role as Director.
Together creating pathways of Shalom,
Mustard Seed Associates // Godspace