My Advent series this year will follow the Words Matter Advent study from the National Council of Churches. Download the whole booklet if you’d like, and follow along with the writings for each day. I’d love to discuss them with you. Also, here is a link to the Advent readings from the Inclusive Bible. I prefer the more inclusive language here, than the NRSV texts used in the study booklet (be sure to read the note on page 6).
The study today reminds me that Advent is a time of endings and a time of new beginnings. I hope and pray that it will be that way for Big Al and me. We are approaching the end of two years of liminal living – the decision made to move to our (hopefully) final location after a nomadic life of relocation every couple of years. We’ve been almost two years rattling around in our house with minimal possessions – not wanting to buy new “stuff” because it will just cost us money to move it to Tacoma. We’ve found out just how little “things” matter to us – although there is still some angst when I can’t host Thanksgiving dinner one more year because we don’t have a decent-sized table, or enough plates, or even enough chairs for folks to sit on. I feel like our life has already been “rent asunder” like the mountains in Isaiah, and we’re waiting in the rubble for the potter to put us back together.
I’ve also reached the end of my time on session at Preston Hollow. The final meeting is tonight, and all the out-going elders are supposed to say a little bit about what their time on session has meant to them. For me it was a time to grow outside the boundaries of the local church. I was able to attend Presbytery meetings, and through the three years, I got to vote on four initiatives from General Assembly, a new General Presbyter, and countless church plantings, church closings, new calls, mission opportunities, and all the busy-ness of this wonderful denomination of ours. I also was able to attend several conferences where I met and got to know some amazing people in the Emerging church. I met Bryan McLaren, Nadia Bolz-Weber, Margaret Aymer Oget, Carol Howard Merritt, Bryan Merritt, Phil and Stephanie Shephard, and many more who are “being church” in small, out-of-the-way places around the country – bringing love to the least, the last, and the lost. I’ve also been able to rub elbows, virtually, with many others including Cynthia Bolbach, and Bruce Reyes-Chow. My proudest accomplishment was to be involved in the founding of Presbyterian Women Interest Group on Facebook, which has grown in six months from six people with an idea to over 450 women connecting, studying, and generally working for the kingdom of God in cyber-space.
The hope that I see in these Advent texts is definitely for a reshaping of my life, the church, and the world.