The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Counting the days of Advent

Here are some ways mark the season in your congregation

While the retail world pulls us into Advent with an emphasis on shopping, the church slows our pace during December. Most churches light an Advent wreath during worship and some produce devotions for the season.

First Lutheran Church, Sioux Falls, S.D., produces a calendar each Advent that's inserted in the newsletter. Each day offers a different suggestion. One day each week invites followers to gradually add camels, sheep, the holy family and "an object that represents you" to their home nativity.

Advent calendar by Kerrie Vilhauer
Advent calendar by Kerrie Vilhauer
Some suggestions draw people to church activities (invite someone to go to a church meal) while others send them out (go to the drive-through and pay for the car behind you). Sunday entries offer a Scripture verse and Saturdays suggest seasonal fun (check out local Christmas lights or have a Christmas movie night).

Kerrie Vilhauer, communication coordinator, gives the calendar more visibility by making it into a poster for the church's welcome center. She also sends it to college students to "let them know their home church is thinking of them," she said.

The project was created during discussion about popular chocolate Advent calendars, Vilhauer said, adding, "Now if only we could find a printer who could do that at a reasonable price."

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