Preparing to prepare

Labyrinth in the Chapel

Holy Comforter will offer a series of intergenerational programs on the Sundays of Advent.  On the first Sunday, participants will have the option of walking through a labyrinth in our ever-so-beautiful chapel. If they prefer, they can help write a prayer for each of the Advent Wreath candles. Both are quiet, gentle ways of entering into this season where darkness melts into light.  For the second Sunday, we we will work on a collaborative art project that explores words used to describe Mary. Just the colors we will use for the project are vibrant and luminescent.  I smile every time I look at them.  The third Sunday is tree-trimming time, and for those who prefer something more quiet, the materials to make Christmas greeting cards for the peoplea we serve through the food pantry and the Communities of Transformation program.  And then, on the fourth Sunday….There will be good hot cocoa with peppermint sticks, marshmallows, and whipped cream, and our organist/choir director will graciously gather us around the piano in our parish hall so we can laugh and sing things like ‘the weather outside is frightful.’ 

The table is set for our last two listening gatherings

These first two Sundays, I will also wrap up the “A Time for Listening” program which has been a marvelous way to start getting to know the people Holy Comforter, the memories, the hopes, and the dreams that are harbored in our parish.

Our church, like so many others, faces all the challenges of our denomination: an aging congregation, the loss of some of our financial base, a neighborhood that keeps changing in ways that feel bewildering sometimes.  Precisely for that reason, I am convinced we have to take the time to prepare to receive the Word made Flesh with our whole self–muscle and bone and voice and the steps we take carefully on a labyrinth journey and the feel of the hot cocoa sliding down our throats, and with eyes able to feast on rich, gorgeous color.  I have spent the day preparing to prepare with my new faith community–my body tells me so with some soreness.  It also tells me, with the little skip my heart takes, that we are about enter to into enter Advent, my most favorite season of all…

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