Newly developed Advent resources are now available to help Episcopalians everywhere to take up Jesus’ ministry of reconciliation and healing. Every congregation will soon receive in the mail Preparing to Become the Beloved Community, a multi-fold poster and resource pack with prayers, reflections and activities for each week of Advent. The resource can also be downloaded here.
Preparing builds on the Becoming Beloved Community vision document and resources, which Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and President of the House of Deputies the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings and their supporting officers introduced earlier this year. The document lays out the Episcopal Church’s long-term commitment to racial healing, reconciliation and justice.
“During Advent, Christians focus on how much we need Jesus to bear light, healing and hope in a broken world,” noted the Rev. Canon Stephanie Spellers, the Presiding Bishop’s Canon for Evangelism, Reconciliation and Creation Care. “This is a mysterious, vulnerable time. We’re opening to Christ. We’re opening to different neighbors and strangers who are Christ among us. We hope these resources meet the real hunger among Episcopalians to live like Jesus Movement people.”
Throughout Advent, an Episcopal Church social media campaign will also stir hope, reflection and action around racial reconciliation; join or follow using the hashtag #adventbeloved.
Advent begins on Sunday, December 3 and concludes on Christmas Day.
Preparing to Become the Beloved Community was developed by the Episcopal Church’s Racial Reconciliation Team.
The resources are designed for group use among all ages, including Adult Forums, Sunday School, Women’s and Men’s groups, Advent preparation, vestry meetings, confirmation studies and more.
Each of the four weeks in Advent features Bible readings, reflections and activities focused on one part of the spiraling journey toward racial healing, reconciliation and justice:
• Advent 1: Telling the Truth about Our Churches and Race
• Advent 2: Proclaiming the Dream of Beloved Community
• Advent 3: Practicing the Way of Love in the Pattern of Jesus
• Advent 4: Repairing the Breach in Institutions and Society
The original Becoming Beloved Community vision lays these themes out visually around a labyrinth. “It’s a different way of approaching this work,” said Heidi Kim, Staff Officer for Racial Reconciliation. “It’s truly an invitation to spiritual formation and social transformation.”