Advent is Coming
Advent (from Latin adventus), meaning ‘coming’, is a time for us to prepare for the celebration of Jesus Christ at Christmas. It is a time filled with anticipation, excitement and eagerness as many children count down the days to Christmas on their Advent calendars. Some people may look forward to spending time with family and friends or enjoying lots of food, and you might even get to eat one of the special chocolates saved just for Christmas. Advent for some, though, can be a time filled with anxiety and dread as they worry about being alone. Some people may be struggling financially, unsure how to afford presents or keep warm as winter arrives. But whether this is a time of crisis or of joy, Advent gives us a wonderful opportunity to engage with those who may not be within our reach at other times of the year. It’s a time when we can focus on the teachings of Jesus and show others in both practical and spiritual ways how much they are loved by God. Through our Centres of Mission across the UK and Ireland, we’ll be making a real difference in the lives of those in need during Advent and Christmas.
Evangelists Richard and Amy, from our Selby Centre of Mission, will be hosting the annual Christmas Carol Concert for Selby Community Primary School. The concert will be attended by parents and carers of the children involved. It is a great way for the community to be welcomed by the Centre of Mission. Richard and Amy will also be involved in school assemblies during Advent, where they will use gospel magic to illustrate parts of the Christmas story.
Attercliffe and Darnall
Starting their preparations for Advent in August, Evangelists Kinder and Gina share God’s love throughout the community with small, knitted Christmas angels. They reach out to a national network of knitters in August, and, by December, these angels find their way to our Centre of Mission and are placed in Church where they are prayed for. Each angel comes with a tag, letting the recipient know where it’s from and serving as a beautiful reminder that they are loved and never alone. They are then placed in and around the community for people to find, with the aim of sharing God’s love and blessing with a special Christmas message. This heartwarming initiative has had a profound impact; one lady now has a special friendship with the Centre of Mission after finding an angel.
“The heartbeat behind them is for God and the Holy Spirit to do their work through the angels.”
The Greenwich Centre of Mission will be spreading the Good News of Jesus through practical love and support for the community throughout Advent, with several Christmas parties for local children and their care givers. The parties will be joy filled with heartwarming Christmas music and the timeless Christmas story as well as Christmas gifts for the children. Evangelists Karen and Nick will be making 30 – 40 food hampers, which will be distributed to needy families on two housing estates in the area.
In the Cross Hands community, there are some families who may be facing financial hardships during the festive season. That’s why evangelists Esther and Michelle have a heart-warming initiative called the Tree of Hope. A Christmas tree is decorated with tags, each containing a child’s wish for a Christmas present. People are invited to pick a tag and donate the requested gift. Thanks to the generosity of the community, last year we were able to bring joy to 30 children who might have otherwise gone without a present. Esther and Michelle will also be arranging a traditional Christmas lunch event for people facing Christmas day alone.