The youth are traveling through Advent with a variety of opportunities to connect with God and with one another. Opening our hearts and minds to the messages of Advent, we find inspiration and encouragement to slow down, to be more patient in our “waiting”, and to trust that the light of God’s Love really does overcome darkness.
In early December, the youth visited Harvard’s Memorial Church to attend the Kuumba Singers Christmas Concert: “Voice in the Night”. This gospel choir, which has been singing since 1970 in celebration of Black creativity and spirituality, beautifully captured the power of Christmas story – both the peace that Jesus brings and the hope that he inspires to continue in the struggle for justice. http://kuumbasingers.org
That same weekend, youth were invited to experience “Journey in the Light” at WCUC – an evening for contemplative prayer walking in a 12-circuit labyrinth that covered almost the entire floor in the sanctuary. Youth members engaged the program as participants and also as helpers so that the younger children could enjoy the evening too.
In recent weeks, the youth have been learning about Advent in their Sunday morning classes, exploring its history and its context in the larger liturgical church calendar. Themes such as “waiting”, “balancing stillness with active preparing”, and noticing “light in dark places” have all been prominent in our Bible study and class discussions. Particular attention was given to the virtues represented by the candles of the advent wreath: Hope, Love, Joy, and Peace as we wrote, reflected, and shared on these four prompts/questions:
- “I really hope that…”
- Where have you experienced love/kindness in recent days? Given and received.
- What brings you joy?
- Who in your life especially needs to feel God’s peace right now? (We held a minute of silence to pray for these people.)
Finally, we celebrated Gaudete (Joy!) Sunday in style with donuts and a viewing of this incredible documentary about Walden Pond and the life of Henry David Thoreau. A local treasure and a man who was inspired by nature to believe in God’s transformative power as well as the power of people working together to transform the world. If you have 22 minutes to spare, this will be well worth your time!
May you experience many blessings during this Advent season and may you find moments of unexpected Grace as the Prince of Peace arrives yet again.