By Kate Bell, Director of Children’s Ministries
Religious Diversity Journey is an experience that 7th graders in our community have a choice to participate in. Throughout the school year, they visit several houses of worship and learn the “basics” of each faith tradition. This is our 4th year participating – it’s an honor and a joy to offer this opportunity. 151 kids came to Christ Church Cranbrook on Tuesday of this week.
To me, the RDJ event marks an early (or late, depending on how you plan) start to the Advent season. I collect the bits I traditionally use in my own home to prepare for the season: a few nativity sets, Christmas trees with lights, the stockings, an Advent wreath and so on. I get excited! My dining room has exploded boxes all over the place!
When sharing with the RDJ kids about the spiritual and christian way of Christmas, I am reminded how the materialism and commercialism of Christmas has changed throughout the years. This lesson brings the meaning of Christmas back into perspective. I’m encouraged to be present, do the parts that make me joyful, share love with others, take in the beauty, and be ever conscious that Christmas is the time we celebrate the birth of Jesus.
Advent literally means “to prepare.” The time to prepare our homes, our hearts, our beings, all for the birth of Jesus. This is Advent. The anticipation is intended to be a time of pause and reflection. Each week, we will light a candle on the advent wreath, the light will grow brighter and, perhaps, offer the reminder to be present.
This Sunday, 12/2, we’re hosting the traditional Advent Family Fair, during coffee hour. I invite you to come and see!. The underlying theme is “taking Advent home and into our community.” A variety of stations will keep everyone busy, creative, connected and will help you begin your journey through Advent on our way to Christmas. Be sure to check out:
- Card Making for the Homebound: Create a special card that will be delivered during Advent to those needing a little extra love and care.
- Cookie Decorating: Always a favorite! Even the “big kids” (grown ups) can make one, too.
- Decorate the Christmas Tree: Led by the youth, create crafty ornaments, the longest paper chain and decor ready to hang on the Children and Youth Christmas tree.
- Advent Outreach Project: This project involves filling the shelves at Lighthouse of Oakland County. Intended for all ages, you will take this project home to follow and guide your family during Advent. Come and pick up your kit to learn more.
- Taking Advent Home: a variety of advent calendars and guides you may choose from to take home.
I hope to see you at the fair as we begin to prepare for Christmas, together.