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From The Resource Center: Advent Recommendations

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Advent - mug and candleIt’s finally November! The Halloween candy is being taken off the shelf with many stores skipping Thanksgiving and going straight to Christmas. At this point in the year, it is getting easier to start focusing on the cold winds and many Moravian traditions that often accompany the Advent season. Before you get caught up in the busyness of the holiday season, we are asking you to think about the Advent season now. Not the shopping, the decorations, or even all of the great food- think of the spiritual journey of Advent. What do you want to experience during this season in your family, with your friends, and by yourself? So now, think about some of the many books and studies in our Resource Center that can help get you where you truly want to be this Advent!

Group Studies:

The Gift of the NutcrackerMatt Rawle

“The Nutcracker” is a delightful and whimsical Christmas classic that children and adults look forward to every year. First performed in 1892, the music, dance, and story of this classic hold a special place in our cultural Christmas celebrations. In The Gift of the Nutcracker, Matt Rawle, author of The Redemption of Scrooge, explores the story to help us understand God’s greatest gift of the Christ child, and the kingdom Christ came to establish. Textbook, Leader Guide, Youth Study Book, Children’s Leader Guide, DVD and Worship Resources Flash Drive are all loaned out separately.

The Journey: Walking The Road to BethlehemAdam Hamilton

Using historical information, archaeological data, and a personal look at some of the stories surrounding the birth, the most amazing moment in history will become more real as you walk along this road. This study includes a DVD and a devotional book.

All Earth Is Waiting: Good News for God’s Creation at Advent: Katie Z. Dawson

All Earth Is Waiting invites readers to explore the familiar Advent themes of hope, preparation, joy, and peace with the heavens and earth in mind. Through her powerful and personal reflections, author Katie Z. Dawson calls us to consider how all creation longs for the coming of Christ, taking seriously the notion that the good news of Christ is good news for all the world. Anticipating in Christ’s birth the reconciliation of the heavens and the earth, Dawson highlights our responsibility to care for this earth in preparation for Christ’s return. This thematic Bible study is designed to be used by individuals and small groups during Advent. Each chapter offers questions for reflection and discussion, a brief prayer, and a focus for the week that will encourage readers to engage a specific act of creation care that will help them apply the week’s lesson.

Faithful Celebrations: Making Time for God from Advent Through EpiphanySharon Ely Pearson

While these celebrations are popular in our secular culture, all ages will reconnect with the sacred roots and traditions practiced by past generations. All can experience new celebrations that have traditionally been intergenerational events in Spanish speaking communities. Each event to be celebrated includes key ideas, a cluster of activities to experience the key ideas, materials needed, full instructions for implementation, background history and information, music, art, recipes, and prayer resources to use in a small, intimate, or large multi-generational group.

Home for Christmas: Tales of Hope and Second Chances: Justin Coleman

Home for Christmas brings inspiring stories of hope and second chances into the Advent season. Author and pastor Justin Coleman matches real life stories of struggle and triumph to the Advent themes of hope, love, joy, and peace to show how the light of Christmas shines brightly even in hard times. Each chapter lifts up a scripture reflection alongside tales of men and women who reflect on the Advent themes with love and longing. Throughout each of the four chapters and the accompanying DVD for a small-group experience, Coleman captures the stories of formerly incarcerated men and women as they find work and opportunity through Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles, California. These men and women share their memories and experiences in light of the hope and new life they’ve experienced at Homeboy. Additional components for this four-week study include a comprehensive Leader Guide and a DVD featuring author and pastor Justin Coleman.

Children’s Studies:

Home by Another Way: A Christmas Story: Barbara Brown Taylor

This enchanting Christmas story by beloved author and preacher Barbara Brown Taylor follows the three wise men on their world-changing journey to Bethlehem. In this beautiful retelling of their adventure, Taylor captures the power of one very special star and gives readers a new perspective on the three wise men and their encounters with King Herod, Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus. Home by Another Way: A Christmas Story features breathtaking artwork from illustrator Melanie Cataldo and is perfect for gift-giving. Ideal for children ages 8-10.

Unwrapping the Christmas CrècheLisa Flinn and Barbara Younger

This engaging and delightful book follows a child’s thoughts and actions as the Christmas crèche is unwrapped. Each figure comes to life in this Advent adventure! Share Unwrapping the Christmas Crèche with your children as you create memories and traditions of your own.

Individual Studies:

Sent: Delivering The Gift of Hope: Jorge Acevedo

As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them . . .”sentJohn 17:18 God sent Christ at Christmas. In turn, Christ sends us into the world to be his hands and feet, head and heart. Dynamic pastor Jorge Acevedo leads us on a 5-week Advent journey to discover how, where, and why we are sent. Joining him on the journey are four young clergy including Jacob Armstrong, Rachel Billups, Justin LaRosa, and Lanecia Rouse, who challenge us through story, art, and Bible study. This devotional, offering four weeks of daily reflections, functions beautifully on its own or as part of the church-wide experience. The reflections are ideal for use during Advent and include Scripture, personal insights, daily challenges, and prayers.

 

Unlikely Gifts: Devotions for the Holiday Season J. Ellsworth Kalas; David Kalas; Taddy Kalas

The Christmas season is one of the busiest times of the year. But it is also a season of reflection and preparation for that special day when we remember the arrival of our eternal God in our own frail humanity. Let the Christ of Christmas prepare your heart for the celebration of his birth through a devotional journey reflecting on Advent and Christmas. Enjoy thirty-one thoughtful, and never-before-published Christmas devotionals from the late, beloved, best-selling author, J. Ellsworth Kalas. The inspirational selections were lovingly compiled by Dr. Kalas’ son, David, and daughter, Taddy, and include additional notes and memories of their father and the holiday season. Unlikely Gifts celebrates the Savior’s birth as we explore the blessings of hope, joy, love, and peace that believers can experience as they keep their eyes on Jesus.

Family Studies:

Creating Christmas Memories: Family Traditions For a Lifetime: Cheri Fuller

The traditions we share together each year remind us of who we are and where we have been as a family. Christmas is a wonderful time to establish new traditions, enhance old ones, and build special memories.

Christmas At Our House: Family Holiday TraditionsDonna GreenChristmas at our house

This keepsake book preserves the special holiday traditions and memories that bind families together for your children and grandchildren. It is a joyous celebration of the uniqueness of every family.

 

The Resource Center’s hours are 9am-5pm, Monday through Friday (evenings and weekends by appointments.) Email [email protected] if you have questions or need more information. You can view our Advent catalog here, or search “Advent” on Resource.Moravian.org


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