Thursday, November 29, 2012

Advent Begins - Try This!

This Sunday we begin a new year in the Church and we start the season of advent! Observing advent is a great way to resist the busyness and commercialism of the holidays and to prepare for a meaningful Christmas. For a great overview of the season of Advent, take a look at this video from Busted Halo.

At Church, we will begin the season with a Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser for our Pantry Shelf Outreach program. This Friday, November 30th at 6:00 pm join us for dinner and advent wreath making! You can make an advent wreath for your home - everything will be provided for only $10! If you already have a wreath, pick up new candles and take a look at the daily meditation books and calendars that will be available. **

Sharon Pearson posted an article about advent calendars on her wonderful blog Building Faith. She includes links to some great online calendars for the season that you might like to explore. I'm really excited to try these very cool templates for Praying in Color from Sybil Macbeth. If you haven't heard about praying in color check out her books or blog to learn more. You might also like the Advent Conspiracy - take a look at the site and watch the promo video to discover ways to make Christmas more meaningful this year.

Now is the time to figure out how to make this advent special for you and your family. It doesn't have to be much - light your wreath at dinner, say a special prayer together at bedtime, create a prayer wall out of post it notes that everyone can help build or make a prayer chain to mark the days until Christmas. Make time to volunteer and donate money to those in need during this holy season. Take a little time now to decide how you would like to grow closer to God this advent! You'll be glad you did!

**Don't worry - wreaths, candles, booklets and calendars will be available in the Front Hall at Church on Sunday if you can't make it to the Spaghetti Dinner!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Episcopal Visitation 2012

The Rt. Rev. David Bowman, Assisting Bishop of Ohio, will be worshiping with us at our 10:30 am service this Sunday! Three Christ Church young people will be confirmed and five adults will be received into the Episcopal Church or will renew their vows.  Please join me in praying for these faithful parishioners as we head into the weekend: Libby, Callie, Shanna, George, Deborah, Kathleen, Ryan, and Laura.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Altar Cards

Recently the National Association of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd made it possible for members to subscribe and view our material manuals online instead of in print format. These material manuals include clear directions for making the materials and now have pictures of the original materials from Rome. They are really incredible! I've been visiting every material in the manual before presenting it this year, and have learned so much! The manuals represent a tremendous amount of work, very thoughtfully done, and I am so grateful. 

While looking through the manual for the True Vine Atrium, I came across these cards which present pictures of the articles of the altar and their significance.  I had to make them right away! Somehow I missed these cards in my training, and as soon as I saw them I knew that they would meet a real need in the children, and allow them to synthesize what they have learned about the altar in a new way. I offered the cards to several groups of children last Sunday and I could almost see the connections being made in their minds as they worked. After matching all the cards, the children asked if they could add the articles from our sacristy cabinet to the work. They were very satisfied with the material!

I can't count the number of times that the "rightness" of the materials has been proven to me since I began working with the Catechesis. Sometimes, the way a work is presented or made doesn't make sense to me and I am tempted to change it. But I consistently find that the wisdom of the materials comes to light when I see the children at work. Other times, I'll find that something I have sensed is not working is actually being done wrong! Or, as in this case, I'll find that a need I am only vaguely aware of has already been addressed with a material I have yet to discover! I've come to trust the wisdom of the Catechesis and the 50+ years of observation, experimentation, and prayer that it represents. I'm so blessed to be a part of it!