Thanks to Rev. Kate Payton and the creative members of Glendale United Methodist Church in Savage, MN for sharing this idea – and allowing The Ministry Lab to support it financially through one of our Hopeful Innovation Grants!
Glendale is building a giant outdoor Advent Wreath:
They’ll purchase five Christmas trees to anchor and light up as the Advent Wreath candles. Every Sunday in Advent they will gather at 4:30 pm (just around sundown!) for a brief service of prayer, during which they will light a new “candle” each week.
The tree will then remain lit through the coming week, adding one tree a week until all are lit.
The congregation will publicize the Sunday prayer time to their neighbors via online posts and church signage. They will also post devotions on their website and Facebook page for folks who visit the Wreath during the week, extending an invitation to congregational and community members, alike, to enjoy daily prayer.
They hope to deepen and broaden their reach within their community through this special offering of Advent’s hope, peace, joy and love. They hope that the devotions, prayer services and Christmas Tree Advent Wreath, will encourage a “shift in conversations and tone” from sharing disappointments and grieving to making new memories and finding peace.