Sunday, November 27, 2005

layering advent journals


The good thing about pastoral ministry is the chance to build layers. You do something one year knowing that a year later you can perhaps re-do it, building, layering, deepening. This week the Opawa Advent Journals start to circulate in the community.

The concept is simple;
1. Locate 8 blank journals.
2. Place some Advent “resources” (art pics, Bible verses) in the front.
3. Hand them out to people in the community, telling them to keep them for 3 days and to journal what Advent means for them. After 3 days they are to pass it to someone else in the community. If they have it on Sunday, bring it along so that people can flip through.
4. And so quietly, simply, I as pastor encourage people to engage with the Christmas story, in their time, in their space.

I introduced this last year and it worked well. So this year, a second time around, their is a 2004 “layer” of Advent art, a 2004 “layer” of people’s reflections a year ago. To this I have added a 2005 fresh “layer” of art and will be offering them into the community this week.

For information on the first appearance of the Advent Journals last year, go here.

And for those interested, these are the Guidelines typed in the front of each Advent Journal …

The Overview:
Christmas is a hectic season and each year we are faced with the challenge, the opportunity, the question – how to wait, how to prepare spiritually, amid the end of year rush? The Advent Journal is an attempt to encourage personal preparation for Christmas.

The concept:
Advent is a time of waiting. Four weeks, four Sundays leading up to Christmas. Advent offers us the chance to prepare ourselves to greet the Christmas child. It invites us to be alert to the signs of the times in nature, in Scripture, in newspaper, in our families, to greet the Christ wherever he appears. This alertness, this hope, should be shared. My hope is that the journal encourages a shared personal preparation.

How to proceed?
1. Once you have received the journal, you have 3 days to spend with it.
2. During those three days, put whatever you like in the journal – thoughts, ideas, drawings, photos, recipes, reflections – anything that captures how you are preparing for Christmas and where you are seeing the Christ. Be creative. Write in your own language.
3. After three days, please pass it on to someone else in the church.
4. If you have an Advent Journal on a Sunday, bring it to church to lay on the Advent table.

Who gets a journal?
I have prepared 8 journals, including an initial image and text. Each journal is numbered and is different. These will be released into the church community for the first week of Advent. After the initial release, who knows where the journals will go. This is the point of Advent; we wait, we wonder, we watch.

How is it shared?
Each Sunday the journals will be brought to church and laid on the “Advent table.” Others in the community can browse, and be inspired in their Advent preparation. We hope to be able to scan journal pages and use them in worship and on the Opawa website. So please be aware that by participating in this project, your work will be shared with others.

Posted by steve at 09:13 PM

1 Comment

  1. I came across your advent journal idea in your archives and kicked off advent with it yesterday. Brilliant idea! It was received really well and I have high hopes for the inspiration it will bring to our advent preparations. Thanks!

    Comment by Steve — November 29, 2005 @ 6:59 am

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