Spill The Beans – Advent through to Epiphany with a Scottish flavour
Beautiful collection of liturgical ideas, thematic crafts, games, dramas, readings. a Must have for people curating worship over Advent/Christmas time this year. Link
Truth in Tinsel – An Advent Experience For Little Hands
Spend December impressing God’s Word on your kids’ heart! You’ll get 24 days of Scripture reading, ornament crafts, talking points and extension activities. Plus fun printables and templates. This is the perfect book for kids of any age–from preschool to elementary Link
Mucky Paws – Advent & Christmas Liturgies
Mucky Paws is a collection of liturgies created for use in worship written by Roddy Hamilton. What follows is a beautiful catalogue of liturgy, prayer, art, worship, drama spanning over 7 years worth of creative worship.
A Christmas Story You’ve Never Heard Before by Gordon Atkinson (iTunes)
The Shepherd’s Story by Gordon Atkinson (iTunes)
Two beautiful stories written by Gordon Atkinson (aka Real Live Preacher) that will allow you to experience the Christmas story differently, these are truly original and amazing stories. You can download them from his site and listen to them, but please consider paying for them, on itunes (link)
Experience The Christ Child – Christmas With Children
Written by Meg Everard, BoE, Synod of NSW/ACT. This booklet is designed to assist your congregation, kids club, Sunday School group, to really experience Christmas anew. To listen, to feel and to see the stories that make up this magical story with new eyes. Each of the experiences are linked with a Bible passage and are adaptable as you see fit. Each of the experiences are as powerful for children as they are for adults, so don’t be scared to involve your whole congregation. Many of the experiences will take some setting up, and some organisation before hand – so working on these as a team can be valuable. This booklet is divided into three well known stories that symbolise Christmas for many of us. You are invited to use one, or all depending on your group. (pdf download)
Worship The Christ Child – Christmas With Children
Written by Meg Everard, BoE, Synod of NSW/ACT. This booklet is designed to assist your congregation, kids club, Sunday School group, to lead worship with primary school aged children in the days leading up to Christmas. Please feel free to use part or all of the ideas contained in this booklet. The booklet is divided into four sections:
- Gathering and;
Worship is central to our practiced faith as Christians, it is a time when we gather to praise, celebrate and share with God. For children is can hold mystery, wonder and sometimes, lets be honest boredom. This booklet looks at new ways to worship and engage children with stories, imaginings and prayer that reflect the reality of Jesus’ birth. Through this resource I hope that children will dive into the story that is Christmas, to see new wonder, experience the story anew and that together you will grow as a community of faith. (pdf download)
DIY Advent Calendars – An Advent Resource
Last year my community started Advent by creating our own Advent Calendars, I put the kits together using Christmas cards, cardboard, reflections from other calendars I’ve received from Alternativity.co.uk and Proost.co.uk and friends like Mark Pierson over the years, I also put some rituals and practices together myself.
It was a great way for us as a community to start to think about how we individually and corporately prepare for Christmas. Link
ALTERnativity – Alternative Resources for Re-thinking & Re-imagining Advent & Christmas
Alternativity is a resource produced in the UK by a group of people who wanted to develop new ways and liturgies for individuals, families and communities to explore, re-tell, play with and enter into the story of Jesus’ birth. The books develloped by the project include liturgies that can be used in worship in a variety of settings, the book “The Alternativity Meal” for example gives a process for families or communities to enter into a meal that re-tells the story of Christ’s birth, much like the passover meal.
I highly recommend these resources to churches, families and communities who want a set of resources that are very different and that will encourage them, their children and their community to explore the stories of our faith in new, thoughtful and exciting ways… Link
Going for Growth – Advent & Christmas Resources
The Church of England has a number of great resources available on their website for worship during Advent & Christmas.
Advent comes from the Latin word Adventus, which means coming, and it’s the time when the Church gets ready for the coming of Jesus, celebrated at Christmas. The readings in the lectionary look forward not only to Christ’s first coming as a babe in Bethlehem, but also to his eventual second coming as judge and ruler of all. The themes are:
- darkness / light
- expectation of the incarnation of Christ on Christmas
- anticipation of the fullness of time at Christ’s second coming
In Roman times purple cloth was the most costly, and was associated with kings and rulers. And so the colour for Advent, the getting ready for King Jesus, is purple.
All too often, Advent gets lost in rehearsals for Christmas presentations, and the sense of anticipation and waiting disappears. The ideas in this section offer ways of recapturing Advent as a season in its own right – preparing ourselves to receive the gift of the Christ Child on Christmas morning. (Link)
With Love To the World
With Love To the World is a fantastic, up to date, lectionary resource that could help people as they prepare for the coming of Love over the Advent season, or as they prepare their sermons and worship for the Advent & Christmas season.
With Love to the World is a daily Bible reading guide based on the Revised Common Lectionary as adapted for use in the Uniting Church in Australia. There are four issues per year. Link
Nine from Proost.co.uk
There is a traditional Christmas worship service of 9 lessons and carols which follows the Christmas story. Inspired by Grace in London who have created their own contemporary take on this service we invited nine artists or groups of artists to create a piece in response to one of the readings. We hope you like the results! There are 6 movies and 3 tracks.
As ever use with imagination… for personal reflection, to celebrate a family Christmas in the home, or to create a unique worship experience in your faith community/church. Read the reading and then watch or listen and reflect. Link
Hopeful Imagination Blog
The Hopeful Imagination blog has been running over Advent for a few years now and has a great collection of reflections, ideas, prayers, poems written by a number of different people. Link
Mustard Seed Associates (Christine Sine)
Advent is almost here. This wonderful season of hope and expectation begins a new liturgical year by drawing us into the excitement of Christ’s birth and the joyful anticipation with which we await it. It is a time to wait, to hope, to rethink our focus, and to imagine new ways to follow and serve Christ into the future. Now is the time to store up the resources we need to stir our imaginations and create new rituals and expressions of faith that guide us through a season in which our hearts ache for the coming of God’s light.
A great list of resources from Tom & Christine Sine Link
Christmas Starts With Christ – ChurchAds
ChurchAds long running campaign is “Christmas starts with Christ”. Each year they aim to retell elements of the Christmas story in a contemporary way. Last year ChurchAds focused on fashion, the year before they featured a baby scan and before that a bus stop nativity.
This year, they’re retelling the story with an eye-catching, brown-eyed Godbaby doll in a blue babygrow, with the slogan, “He cries. He wees. He saves the world.” Link
Advent Resources on ReJesus
The guys down at ReJesus have a long list of resources for Christmas and Advent. ReJesus is a website designed for people who are looking for help in talking with people about Jesus and faith, the site includes puzzles, poems, spaces to ask questions, image downloads, worship, art and spirituality resources. It’s divided into 5 sections, The Story, The Encounter, The Popular Spirituality, Expressions and Community each section providing different ways to help people talk about Jesus with other people.
The Christmas resources on ReJesus includes puzzles, images, stories, fun activities and much more for you and others to connect with, go on and check them all out… Link
25 by Si Smith
25 is a set of comic pages from illustrator si smith. each comic page tells an aspect of the christmas story. the speech bubbles on the pages have been left blank for you to fill in or tell the story in your own words and ways. there is also a digital advent calendar with 25 windows that are hyperlinks to the comic page of that number. as if that wasn’t enough, there are then 25 flatpack models that you can print on card, cut out and glue to make the characters that relate to the day of that number.
Worship House Media Video Clips
Worship House Media is a great website for people wanting to use multimedia resources in worship. WHM connects with multimedia producers from all over the place who provide resources in the form of movies, short films, image loops and still images for purchase and download and use in worship.
Are you wanting films or image loops for Advent? Worship House Media has a lot of resources just for you. Some of my favourite links on WHM for Christmas and Advent are:
- A 5 part series for the lighting of the advent candle: Link (these are really good)
- Jesus vs santa: Link
- Peace on earth: Link
- Breath of heaven: Link
- A short account of christmas: Link
- A Social Network Christmas Link
The Advent Conspiracy – Rethinking Christmas in a Consumer Society
We all want our Christmas to be a lot of things. Full of joy. Memories. Happiness. Above all, we want it to be about Jesus. What we don’t want is stress. Or debt. Or feeling like we “missed the moment”. Advent Conspiracy is a movement designed to help us all slow down and experience a Christmas worth remembering. But doing this means doing things a little differently. A little creatively.
A great resource for people wanting to think about what they give during Christmas and for turning Christmas upside-down so as to slow down and reflect on what Christmas should really be about.
I have the Advent Conspiracy DVD kit if you’d like to borrow it. The Advent Conspiracy crew have put a number of videos & resources online for people to access as they slow pace it through Advent:
Set 2 (all of these are available on the AC website):
- Session 1 – Worship Fully
- Session 2 -Spend Less
- Session 3 -Give More
- Session 4 -Love All