As we enter our varied understandings of the ‘Holiday Season’, we are mindful that the world is full of people who find gratitude, peace, joy, hope, and love difficult to come by. Growing in awareness and stepping alongside goes a long way to repairing relationships and creating belonging and well-being.
Advent is just around the corner. If you’re in a quandary, we’ve got suggestions:
Illustrated Ministry’s new youth-oriented Coloring & Conversation: Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love invites tweens, teens, young adults, and intergenerational groups to explore these four tenets of faith and well-being through color, music, and discussion. Develop community as you create colorful art; enhance faith and a sense of belonging. The four-week format is perfect for Advent and adaptable to anytime.
Find more Intergenerational Activities in our Advent & Christmas-specific lib guide.
If these don’t fit the bill, send us an email: we’re creating Advent and Christmas Liturgies (including a Greening of the Church and Readings and Carols), a pageant (with supporting liturgy for a full worship service), and can help with Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve morning (aka, First Sunday after Christmas).
These seasons are particularly difficult for folx who live – or who chronically feel – alone. The Gospel of Loneliness (Pilgrim), ‘normalizes loneliness and upends its stigma… [as it] demonstrates how to be curious about our loneliness—revisiting stories of loneliness in fables, listening to loneliness in pop music, studying its dynamic in the pews, and exploring the future of artificial companionship.’
The Evangelical Lutheran Church’s Truth & Healing Movement has created a study guide for Killers of the Flower Moon. Watch the movie as a group outing, then find helpful discussion question in the downloadable guide here.
We created a Killers of the Flower Moon Studies Great Idea with additional resources: take a deeper dive into complex and challenging subject matter addressed in the movie, book, and study guide – including the youth/young adult edition of the book.
If your congregation struggles to embrace the need for these challenging discussions, the Innovation Culture Index (ICI) and/or a Ministry Transformation Lab may provide helpful tools in developing a culture of resilience and openness to change. Members of The Ministry Lab can access the ICI, including a facilitated results review, through the end of March. Learn more by emailing ED Rev. Emily Meyer.
Even without the added anxieties of Advent and Christmas, current realities are stirring up strong emotions and deep trauma in those we serve. People are hurting. How can church leaders be present in a different way–a trauma-informed way–to those who are struggling?
The Ministry Lab’s four-part Trauma-Informed Ministries Workshop Series, led by LeaderWise consultants and counselors, will introduce leaders from all ministry areas to the why’s and wherefores, best practices, and particular areas of awareness to ensure that ministries throughout your congregation are built on compassion and belonging.
The series runs Thursdays, starting January 11 through February 1. The first gathering will be 1:00-4:00 PM CT; the remaining three will be 1:00-3:00 PM CT.
Learn more and register here.
These are highly emotional days, we hope these resources encourage you in caring for your people. Let us know how else we can support you in these joyful – and challenging – days, as well!