Dear Friends,

We haven’t yet hit December and we are heading towards Christmas faster than Prancer and Dancer and the rest can pull the sleigh through the night sky. Endless ads encourage us to spend way more money than is sensible on getting the ‘perfect gifts’ for everyone on our list; holiday functions fill the calendar crowding out room for much else, and, of course, the perfect fashion for all those functions can be ours also. Go ahead and say “Humbug”, but this year let’s do something different: Let’s Give Advent a Chance.

Some years ago a group of church folks were comparing notes and realized they had all just experienced something similar: they had rushed through December, got to the 25th exhausted, and thought, wait, I’ve missed something. Christmas Day had arrived and they hadn’t experienced anything of the awesome mystery of pre-Christmas. Instead they had run a marathon of to-do lists and spent crazy amounts of money on presents. This run-up to Christmas they had put themselves through was not a soulful, spiritual pregnancy in any way, shape or form. Advent is the season of waiting; Advent is that time in the womb where things take shape in beautiful darkness. This group of harried Christians realized the substance of Advent had gone right by them, or more accurately, they had gone right by it. So they decided henceforth to spend Advent not in a whirlwind of stress, devoid of soulful substance, but to intentionally reconnect to the true meanings of Advent and Christmas.

The group formed an organization they called “Advent Conspiracy.” (You can find more at adventconspiracy.org). They came up with four tenets: Worship Fully, Spend Less, Give More (that is, of time and generosity rather than money) and, Love All. Each Sunday morning in worship during Advent we’ll focus on one of these themes. Come and wait for Christmas with us.

See you in church,

Catriona