Happy Holiday Season!! Here’s what’s happening around the state:
HOLY INTERRUPTIONS ONLINE RETREAT DAY
This Advent, give yourself the gift of a retreat with Holy Interruptions. Learn to notice and embrace unexpected, holy moments that happen each day.
Through audio teaching, poetry, art, music, guided meditation, reflection questions and invitations into silence, Ann Kulp invites you into intentional quiet space to help you learn to notice and embrace unexpected, holy moments that happen each day.
Learn more and register here.
Registration closes December 20, 2023.
LIGHT FROM AFAR: EXPERIENCING ADVENT AROUND THE WORLD
Advent is celebrated in many unique ways worldwide. During this online experience, four voices from different parts of the world—Nadiyka Gerbish (Ukraine), Joel Bengbeng (Philippines), Cláudio Carvalhaes (Brazil), and Sidwell Mokgothu (South Africa)—share their cultural and spiritual traditions of the season. The exploration includes daily readings, video interviews with each author, and live virtual gatherings.
Learn more and register with a $5 discount here.
Tuesday evenings – November 28th to December 19th / 6:30 PM CT
ADVENT OPPORTUNITIES FROM COLE ARTHUR RILEY
Advent is a season in which we think about a God who dwelled in the sacred dark of a womb before being born into the world. It’s a season in which we are given space to name our deepest longings, the quiet ache for belonging, healing, and liberation we each experience. And together we look toward a promise.
Join Cole Arthur Riley for two Advent practices:
- Candlelit Advent Evenings: A four week virtual gathering, every Sunday of Advent. Have a candle and match ready: each week will include a brief meditation, poem, and breath practice and will close with a silent practice of waiting in the dark. Access by preordering BLACK LITURGIES: Prayers, Poems, and Meditations for Staying Human, then fill out the form (here) with your preorder information. You will receive an email with the Zoom link the morning of the first gathering.
- Daily Advent liturgies will be available on Patreon – including quotations, liturgies, poems, meditation questions, and breath prayers. Join the Patreon community here. All Patreon tiers will receive the daily Advent liturgies straight to their email.
Together, we reclaim a sacred darkness. We wait, but not alone.
December 3, 10, 17, & 24, 2023 / 6:00 PM CT
GIVE ME A WORD: AN ADVENT AND CHRISTMAS RETREAT TO USHER IN A NEW SEASON OF LIFE
with Christine Valters Paintner and guest teachers Aisling Richmond, Betsey Beckman, Carmen Acevedo Butcher, Claudia Love Mair, Deirdre Ní Chinnéide, Dena Jennings, Jamie Marich, Jo-ed Tome, Melinda Thomas, Richard Bruxvoort Colligan, and Simon de Voil
35 days of daily prompts and reflections.
*Celtic musician Deirdre Ní Chinnéide will be joining Christine for the live session on the feast of Epiphany
Learn more and register here.
Two Live Zoom Sessions with Christine (recorded)
Monday, December 4, 2024 / 9:00-10:00 AM CT
Saturday, January 6, 2024 / 9:00-10:00 AM CT
December 3, 2023 – January 6, 2024
DAY ADVENT JOURNEY
This annual day retreat at Mount Olivet Retreat Center is aimed to prepare participants for the Advent Season. Led by Mount Olivet pastors and musicians and Retreat Center staff, enjoy worship, teaching, fellowship, and of course, a home cooked meal from the Mount Olivet kitchen.
Learn more and register here.
December 5, 2023 / 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
THE NATIONAL LUTHERAN CHOIR IN CONCERT
The National Lutheran Choir announces its 38th season and its inaugural season with Artistic Director Jennaya Robison, which includes four concerts:
- Christmas Festival – December 8 & 9
- Winter Concert – February 25
- Spring Concert – April 28
Seasons passes and individual concert tickets are available, along with virtual subscriptions.
Learn more and purchases tickets, passes, and subscriptions here.
YEAR-END DE-STRESS PLANNING EVENTS
Get back your energy, creativity and passion for ministry as you turn the calendar on another year. Rev. Nicole Havelka, anti-burnout coach and yoga and meditation teacher, will lead two year-end events to help you end this year strong and set you up for a calmer 2024.
The Annual Planning Session helps you plan according to priorities, including yourself, so you enjoy a calmer, more focused year. The New Year’s Eve Restorative Yoga celebration will use gentle movement, restorative yoga poses (the laying around kind), guided meditation, and intention setting to help you start your year with more rest and ease.
Both events have sliding scale tickets available.
December 14, 2023 / 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM CT – Planning Session
December 31, 2023 / 12:00-2:00 PM CT – Restorative Yoga Celebration
ONLINE LONGEST NIGHT GATHERINGS WITH THE MANY
Longest Night (or Blue Christmas) gatherings are a long-standing practice in many traditions, a time when those who’ve had losses that keep them from feeling the joy of Christmas can name the pain, share the sorrow and remember they’re not alone.
These gatherings are designed to help folx come together to sing and pray, lament and look for signs of hope. They’ll include poetry and prayers, some familiar carols and some music from The Many (including their newest song, “The Whole World is Waiting.”)
On the 21st, this event will be hosted by the national UCC, as part of their Praying Through Advent series. You can register for that HERE.
December 17, 2023 / 8:00 PM CT
December 19, 2023 / 8:00 PM CT
December 21, 2023 / 2:30 PM CT – hosted by the UCC
LIGHT OF THE WORLD: AN ECUMENICAL EVENING PRAYER
Light of the World – An Ecumenical Evening Prayer – will be held in Bethesda Grand’s Main Chapel. This is a beloved service of Minnesota’s Presbytery congregations. Churches in the Willmar area gather monthly for this ecumenical prayer service. All are welcome.
The service is also available for purchase from Carol Meier, the composer, to share in other communities: carolmeiermusic.com.
No pre-registration necessary. Open to all.
Bethesda Grand (main chapel) – 901 Willmar Ave., SE, Willmar, MN
Wednesday, December 20, 2023 / 2:00 PM CT
If you’ve got an opportunity to share, let us know by emailing us here.
Find additional resources and ideas for Camps, Retreats, Summer & VBS in our lib guide here.