Everything you need to know to have a meaningful Advent season with Circle of Hope (scroll down to see all of the ways to connect)
Our theme this year is How We Hope. Advent is all about the drama of hope — light in the darkness, presence in the midst of brutality, trust in the face of fear. We are choosing to go through the suffering rather than around it. We can trust God to be with us because so many years ago God was born as a tiny baby. Can we rejoice in the Lord, Jesus, even now?
We are following this description of hope from Ugandan theologian, Emmanuel Katongole, “In the midst of suffering, hope takes the form of “arguing” and “wrestling” with God. Such lament is not merely a cry of pain—it is a way of mourning, protesting, and appealing to God.”
“In the midst of suffering” We are, indeed, suffering. Collectively, we are suffering more consciously than we have in recent memory. There is a mutuality God desires with us. God hushes in our disconsolate ears, and we hush back in the ears of the vulnerable baby God was. We are caring for the fragile way God shows up by caring for the fragile way we are showing up right now.
“Not merely a cry of pain” Entering our pain is an invitation into something new—a call from the future—rather than only rumination on the past.
“With God” God has been born into our lament already. The presence of the baby is already here. The STORY is already told. Advent tells our story in the light of God-with-us. This season, we will highlight the power of anticipation, and paint a picture of hope lived out in real life.
Daily reflections for your Advent journey on our
November 29 to December 24
Ways to pray and practice along our theme, How We Hope.
Light a candle and pray every day with us.
Online Sundays in Advent
Visit here every Sunday.
》Kids’ Time at 4:50pm
Tune in at 4:50pm on Sundays to journey through Advent with kids in anticipation of the birth of Jesus. Each week there will be a story and craft, and a visit to different households as we light the candles of the Advent wreath.
》Sunday Meeting at 5:00pm
The traditional characters of Advent lead us through the drama. We tell and retell the story of Jesus’ birth because our stories need to be told and retold in the light of this strange and wonderful event. Everything is different now.
The Prophets — Longsuffering is a synonym for patience. How many years did we wait for the One?
John the Baptist — A voice of one crying in the wilderness. A cry of lament for the way things are led thousands to this strange man in the desert who said “Prepare the way for the Lord!”
Mary — How can this be? Wonder and astonishment brought praise and a vision of a world turned upside down.
Shepherds — Unexpected heralds of the Prince of Peace brought news of something completely unexpected.
The Lamentations of Right Now
A series of Zoom storytelling events where we practice the lament together. God has been born into our lament already. The presence of the baby is already here. It is the task of Advent to tell our story in the light of God-with-us. Lament helps us to do that in the midst of suffering. Zoom links provided here as the events arrive.
》Saturday, Dec. 5, 8:30am
The Lamentations of Climate Crisis – Zoom Link
led by Rachel Sensenig
》Monday, Dec. 7, 8:00pm
The Lamentations of Loneliness – Zoom Link
led by Jonny Rashid
》Wednesday, Dec. 16, 8:00pm
The Lamentations of Covid-19 Parenting – Zoom Link
led by Ben White
》Tuesday, Dec. 22, 8:00pm
The Lamentations of Racism – Zoom Link
led by Julie Hoke
》An afternoon Christmas Eve for families at 3:00pm
A church-wide Zoom gathering for anyone who wants to be part of the family. There will be cookie baking and singing, costumes and chaos. The Hope of the world is here and we celebrate in the joy of being together.
》A Candlelight Christmas Eve Vigil at 11:15pm
This Zoom event will connect us in real time as we bring in the first moments of Christmas Day together. We gather to wonder at the new birth that has come. Through songs and storytellers the light grows—the Hope of the world is here!