Families are the forming center of our lives. Supporting the diverse make-up of families and honoring the promises of baptism, we:
- love, support and care for all in their faith formation
- communicate what is happening in the church school, confirmation class, youth group, and adult education
- sponsor family-centered offerings on communion, baptism, prayer, and mindfulness meditation
- provide resources for celebrating seasons of the church year
- engage in intergenerational mission opportunities such as the CROP Walk, Family Volunteer Days at the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts and excursions to Overlook Farm in Rutland, MA.
Resources for Celebrating Advent at Home
For Children & Youth:
Look! A Child’s Guide to Advent and Christmas by Laura Alary. A new book told from the viewpoint of a child. Introduces some of the symbolism of Advent; reassures children of the presence of God with them.
https://www.pinterest.com/explore/kids-advent-crafts/ Lots of craft ideas for Advent for varying ages.
https://www.buildfaith.org/advent/?utm_source=Building+Faith&utm_campaign=01c32f5db7-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_11_06&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_b2176a3719-01c32f5db7-451308577 Advent activities for all ages.
The Star from Afar. A game which includes a hardcover book and a wooden nativity set. The star is hidden every day and children play hide-and-seek to find it. Once the star is found, the Three Wise Men are moved to the star’s location. This game has the Wise Men reaching the baby Jesus on Christmas morning; you could adapt it so the Wise Men arrive on Epiphany.
www.stnicholasceenter.org Most children don’t know the origins of Santa Claus in St. Nicholas. This site includes activities, games, crafts, the way St. Nicholas is celebrated around the world on December 6. There is an article ‘Can Jesus and Santa Claus Get Along,’ and a script titled “Santa Meets God.”
https://www.buildfaith.org/advent/ You will find multiple resources for crafts, Advent wreaths, devotionals at this site.
https://prayingincolor.com/handouts Sybil MacBeth’s website. Contains free coloring templates for Advent and other seasons of the church year.
www.traci-smith.com/resources Follow this link to purchase or make ornaments to create an Act of Kindness Tree (see Gratitude Tree).
http://mailchi.mp/vts/building-faith-ready-for-adventword-your-images-your-prayers-a-worldwide-practice?e=a6b6e75b5c World wide Advent practice, online! #AdventWord, begun by the Office of the Anglican Communion in 2014, “it is the world’s first crowd-sourced global Advent calendar.”
https://familyfire.reframemedia.com/articles/advent-hope An article about Advent hope by Nadia Swearingen-Frieson
http://www.beliefnet.com/faiths/christianity/christmas/christmas-is-not-your-birthday.aspx An article by Mike Slaughter https://www.pinterest.com/explore/advent-activities/ Activities for all ages.
http://www.spiritualityandpractice.com/ecourses/ Two e-courses are offered for Advent.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udLJ3uDIMlQ&feature=youtu.be Drawing Nearer-Advent Music by Christopher Grundy.
Click here to learn more about the Seasons of the Church Year.
Deb’s picks for good resources for families: