This will be an Advent like none other. On the one hand, we cannot gather together in person as we would like. On the other hand, we have gotten much better at using technology to connect and to grow.
Please refer to this page for ideas for celebrating Advent and Christmas both in your home and as a St. John’s Community.
Advent Activities for Families
- Advent Activities from Dayspring: Check out this website for ideas for simple Advent activities: Dayspring Family Advent Activities.
- The Nativity Story Video. From the makers of “The Beginner’s Bible” (The Bible we gift to the preschoolers.)
- Have a birthday party for Jesus! Decorate a cake and sing “Happy Birthday!” to Him.
- RightNow Media resources for children: https://www.rightnowmedia.org/Content/Channel/1537
- “Why do we call it Christmas?” (Video for Children from the maker of Veggie-Tales) https://www.rightnowmedia.org/Content/KidsSeries/397?episode=1
- Six Ways to Prepare for the Christmas Season
- Simple Advent Activities for families
- Children’s Bible Story “From Adam to Jesus.” A video which shows the lineage of Jesus
The Advent Wreath is to be used for home devotionals. (We use one at church, but it started as a home devotion.) If you do not have an advent wreath, there are many websites with simple instructions to make your own.
An Advent Wreath is used to celebrate the Advent Journey. Each day during devotion and prayer time, the candle(s) are lit. Each week an additional candle is lit, anticipating the coming of Christmas. On Christmas Eve, the center white candle is lit.
FaceBook Live Advent Wreath Devotional
During Advent, Pastor Mike will be going live in our Facebook group every evening (except Sundays and Wednesdays) at 7:00 pm. He will light his Advent Wreath and lead a brief devotion and prayer time. Those in the Facebook group can participate by offering prayer requests throughout the day or during the devotion. You can find our Facebook Group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/stjohnsfamilynapa
Abide Devotion for Advent
The daily Abide devotion from Pastor Mike will resume in Advent. This is a daily email with a devotion for the day. During Advent, the devotions will focus on Luke 1 and 2, the Christmas Story. To subscribe to the Abide Devotion, please click here: Abide Devotion
The Christmas Story from St. John’s Students
On each weekday from November 30 – December 18, St. John’s Lutheran students will be sharing part of the Christmas Story. These will be posted on the St. John’s Lutheran School Facebook page. If you have ‘t already done so, we invite you to like our School Facebook Page: St. John’s Lutheran School Facebook Page.
Other Advent Devotionals for Download
- From Lutheran Hour Ministries – https://www.lhm.org/advent/
- Concordia University Irvine – https://www.cui.edu/en-us/devotions/advent
- “Good News of Great Joy” – An advent devotional booklet from John Piper for free download. https://document.desiringgod.org/good-news-of-great-joy-en.pdf?ts=1479878227
- “Advent: The Whole Story” – An advent devotional booklet from Paul David Tripp for free download. https://assets.speakcdn.com/assets/1804/advent_2013.pdf
Christmas: The Real Story (Zoom Bible Study)
It surprises people to discover that many of the images and ideas they have about the birth of Jesus are not found in the Bible, but were added later through years of “tradition.” This course will explore what Scripture actually says – and does not say – about the Nativity story. Pastor Mark will be leading this class via Zoom on Tuesday evenings starting at 7:00 from December 8 to December 22. Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to receive the Zoom link and class handouts.
Right Now Media Advent and Christmas
Right Now Media has a channel devotion to Advent and Christmas studies. There are personal and family devotionals, bible studies, historical studies, and more. Please click here to to go the Christmas Channel: https://www.rightnowmedia.org/Content/Channel/1532
And these are Christmas resources specifically for children: https://www.rightnowmedia.org/Content/Channel/1537
If you are not yet registered with Right Now Media, please click here to sign up: http://bit.ly/STJOHNSNAPA
One of the main themes of Advent Conspiracy, which we have celebrated for the past 8 years, is the concept of “Relational Giving.” Instead of spending money, we spend ourselves and focus on growing the relationships in our lives. Many of the ideas of relational giving will still work in these days of COVID-19. Here’s a link to the Advent Conspiracy Relational Giving Page: https://adventconspiracy.org/relational-gift-ideas/
Advent Midweek Live Stream Services
We will have Live Stream Advent Midweek services on Wednesday evenings at 7:00. These services will be streamed on our Youtube Channel and our Facebook page. Please go to this page to download the handout for each service: https://stjohnslutheran.net/live-streaming-worship-at-st-johns/
- December 2 – The O Antiphons of Advent
For centuries the church has used the Advent responses knows as the Great O Antiphons, so named because each one beings with an “O” addressing Christ by one of His biblical names. The familiar hymn “O Come O Come Emmanuel” is based on the O Antiphons. Our midweek services features the O Antiphons and the singing of this hymn.
- December 9 – The ABCs of Christmas
Our annual trip through the alphabet, thinking of the words and phrases that make up the Christmas Story. People can participate in person or through the chat stream
- December 16 – Lessons and Carols
A service of Scripture readings and Christmas Carols led by our Sanctuary Choir. This traditional service of t he season walks through the story of salvation, culminating in the birth of the Savior
- December 23 – Christmas Hymn Stories
We will focus on the stories and scripture behind several familiar Christmas Carols and Hymns. And we will sing them!
St. John’s Family Video Christmas Card
We are inviting everyone in our St. John’s family to participate in our video Christmas card. The completed video will become available on Christmas Eve. This is a way for us to see each other and to greet and bless each other.
Here’s how it works:
- Make a brief video of yourself or your family on your phone, offering a “Blessed Christmas” or a “Merry Christmas” or a brief word of greeting.
- If you are unable to do a video, please take a picture of yourself or your family.
- A Christmas background would be great, but not essential
- Submit all of the photos and videos to Pastor Mike at email@example.com or 707-738-4448.
- Please submit your video or picture by December 20.
- We will assemble them into one video/photo greeting which will be shared on Christmas Eve in worship, on Facebook, on Youtube and on our Website.
Ideas Submitted by the St. John’s Community:
Do you have ideas about celebrating Advent and Christmas that you would like to share? Send them to Pastor Mike or the church office and we will add them to this page!