What a wonderful time we had at our ADVENT-ure lunch – for children and families for a time of fellowship and learning more about this season of preparation we call Advent. We had over 80 people to attend. Many, many thanks to all the folks who helped to make our time possible – Ella Ryan, Meg Rooney, Beth Rooney, Lindsey Stevens, Jennifer Freeman, Jan Davis, Christine Kellett, Betty Rose Sexton, Tuckie Paxton, Jane Terry, Ann Bagwell, Margaret Almond, Peggy Stevens, Betsy Lowery, Russ Collins, Bonnie Way, Jean Cauble, Chuck Ursiny (sexton). Folks who helped that I forgot to mention – my sincere apologies.
I wanted to provide you with the resources from our time together. Click the item to download the directions as a PDF.
Directions to make a Pipe Cleaner Advent Wreath – a good way for preschoolers or other children to have their own advent wreath and not have to worry about burning the house down.
A coloring book about the story of Jesus’ birth. A good opportunity for young children to have to color and learn about the story of Jesus’ birth.
We created an Advent jar at our lunch. We took a jar and 25 popsicle sticks and wrote different ideas on each stick that will help us prepare for Jesus’ coming. Some examples: Share your Christmas dinner with someone, do a favor for someone without being asked, or share your favorite Christmas memories. A lot of ideas to choose from. Each evening, as you eat dinner together, select one of the ideas from the jar.
Some general information about Advent that will be helpful in talking with your children about Advent and its meaning. You can create your own advent wreath (we actually used an advent “box”). We got a block of Oasis (floral foam), stuck 4 candles in it (3 purple and 1 pink) and then decorated with greenery. There are all kinds of advent wreaths/boxes that you can create. Google it (when did you ever think google would become a verb). As you light the candles each night, you may find these Advent Wreath words helpful.
Making Advent rocks. There are 2 different ideas for the advent rocks. One of them is a neat way to tell Jesus’ story, especial for prechoolers.
Ideas for an Advent chain (you would need to print out the sheet if you’d like to create an advent chain). The idea being that there are 25 scriptures and your family would read one scripture each night, cut out the strip of paper with that scripture and create a loop. Each night, you’d add to the chain. It’s not necessary that you create a chain – you can still read the associated scriptures.
Using an Advent calendar. At River Road Church this year, we are all using the same Advent calendar. Each day you can find the star for that date and read the scripture listed. You might even read the scripture while lighting the candles on your Advent wreath.
The church website has a special page for Advent. There, you can find some more information, including the daily advent devotionals written by our members and illustrated by our 3rd-5th graders. The writers used the scriptures from the Advent calendar mentioned above. What a great way for our entire church to use the same resource.
I came across a resource from 2012 that our church put together that gives some ideas for some short worship services (a reading, a prayer, and lighting of the candle). Similar to what is on the back of the advent calendar – just some different ways to share time together with your family.
I love to hear about what families are doing to prepare themselves for the coming of the Christ Child. Share your stories and your pictures with me – what was meaningful, what ideas really stuck with your kids, what info helped you in talking about Advent with your family. Always great to share what works well for your family with others. We are a community and a support for one another.
Let us take a deep breath in this season that many people spend their time and energy wearing themselves out instead of preparing our hearts and minds for the coming of the Prince of Peace. May we be intentional in our preparation – in our words, but, more importantly, in our actions.