Advent

Advent is about waiting
Because we are waiting
For the poor to be filled with good things
For women to believed
For the prisoner to be set free
For healing

We don’t need practice in waiting
We know Christmas is a quiet participation in the miracle that is yet still unfolding

We want to participate in the waiting, and the greed smashing, equity making, creation beauty that is Christmas

So we are an advent people.
Proclaiming the Magnificat together with Mary:
Until the Alleluias of Christmas
Are born

feel free to use/share/adapt with credit to Pastor Katy Stenta

Joy And Justice, Advent 3

God,
God of joy
that tastes like justice
on the tongue

God of comfort
that are the warm embrace of
to be one’s full self on the street

God of blessings
that cannot be divided or mangled
that are not confused with wealth or greed

God, I hear your voice
establishing justice on the earth–
in the midst of all of this! Still, we hear it!

Under the stars, there is justice
You breathe it into your people–
A dignity that is inborn, that all people
are beloved and worthy of love

We are inherently made in God’s image
There is not one single exception,
and Mary’s Magnificat, calls down Justice

Come let us Sing with her
And Call down Food
and Fill those in Need with Good Things

Come Jesus, I Cry in Joy for your Justice
I cannot wait, so I too will dream and wrok
And Dream for this World.

And say a prayer for it too.
Amen.

Advent Unleashed

Advent
Is the prayer
For justice
And healing
In the midst
Of impatience
And pain

It’s the cry of love
In a world of no

The grace of yes
Reaching out
To the whole of humanity
Without question
Qualifiers or pause

All Amens and Alleluias
Of Mary’s Magnificat

Feel free to share/adapt/use with credit to Pastor Katy Stenta

Love, A Prayer for Such a Time as This

God,
I know what it is
to love
And have nothing else.

I know what it is to be sick
for a week, a month,
a year
and pray and hope for treatment
And be stuck with nothing but waiting
And illnesses wash over you–and you are stuck with surviving
at such a time as this

I know what it is to see your beloved stuck in the throes of psychosis
Screaming for you to help them
And you are right there
But they can’t hear or see your love
at such a time as this

I know what it is to be the one talking to estranged family members
hearing both sides of the story
Knowing that both sides are right in their own way
seeing the irony of how similar they
and bearing the sadness of their loneliness and hurt during the holidays
at such a time as this

I know what it is to worry about your kids getting sick
And the dangers of gun violence that seem to be around every corner
but that society has deemed that the economy is important, so you send them
To school, to the theater, to the shopping center, to activities
at such a time as this

I know what it is to act in love
To make the best choice one can
When there is not right choice
Only the best choice at hand-
After years of “once in lifetimes” wars, violences, protests, recessions and pandemics, until we learn the truth God
at such a time as this

We are in an apocalyptic times: a great revealing of truths.
In such a time as this
I keep learning the authentic sacrifices of love:
communication, doing one’s best, forgiveness, boundaries
God, you don’t have to be Queen Esther to live in this advent world
at such a time as this

We are all holding each other’s hands
And walking each other home
In such a time as this–
God, I know you understand too
I’m hanging onto that with both hands
this advent, as I’m waiting
at such a time as this

Let’s light a candle of love,
especially at such a time as this,
light this candle with us I pray
Amen

Feel free to use/share/adapt with credit to Pastor Katy Stenta

Full Advent Resources

Please Support my Writing, I am Funding some of my Doctorate in Creative Writing as a Public Theologian through donations https://gofund.me/554d36e3 Thank you to all those who have donated, I have successfully completed 2 years thanks to your support.

Advent Prayer

Here’s a Prayer for Advent
For those are stuck in injustice for so long
they seek justice with every breath they breathe
and long for a new kind of liberation.

Here’s a prayer for those
stuck in the throes of grief
gnarled in the pain
and cannot feel those who are holding their hands in darkness.

Here is a prayer those
sick so prologuedly, they don’t remember
what health feels like, and subsist instead
on better days.

Here’s a prayer for the lonely
whose teeth ache when they see companionship
who lurk in the corners of libraries and shops
and love to converse with strangers and angels unawares.

Here’s a prayer for the victims
of violence and abuse
from microagressions to verbal, from physical to assassination
To all those who cannot be safe because where they are or who they are.

Here’s a prayer for those who just don’t know Lord
They are just so tired and confused, and stuck
They aren’t sure where to go next or what to do
But they are certain that they need to figure out the next step.

Here’s a prayer for those on the edge of death,
you know the ones God, waiting for that next family gathering
or that last visit, or the strength to let go–
Or even Christmas to pass, in order to join the rest of the Saints.

This is a prayer for all those waiting,
Maybe what we have is not yet hope, perhaps it is hoping for hope
But that is enough to light the candle together
That is enough to wait for God together, for the miracle whispers to us.

It whispers of the one who is to come:
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Purveyor of Peace
And Government will rest upon their shoulders–
God, we are holding our breath, and light the candle hoping for hope.

We are praying with the world today, O Come, O Come Emmanuel we Pray. Amen.

Feel Free to Use/Share/Adapt with credit to Pastor Katy Stenta

Full Advent Resources

Unfreezing Christmas Pageant No Rehearsal Version

Unfreezing Christmas Pageant

No Rehearsal Version

by Katy Stenta, feel free to Email me at Katyandtheword at gmail for a doc version

Feel free to Adapt (Really Adapt I know how these things are)/Use with credit to Katy Stenta 

Full Extended Advent Resource

Please Support my Writing, I am Funding some of my Doctorate in Creative Writing as a Public Theologian through donationshttps://gofund.me/554d36e3 Thank you to all those who have donated, I have successfully completed 2 years thanks to your support.

Characters: Mr Tumnus, Lucy, Narrator (Can be Played By Lucy), Mrs Beaver (Can be played by Mr Tumnus) Two Friends, Mary (non-speaking), Other Nativity Characters (Optional), All reading parts can be read from lecterns. 

Needed: 1 Stuffed Lion, 1 Babydoll, 1 Manger (optional), Nativity Costumes (optional)

Congregation says Merry Christmas and Aslan Unfreeze Christmas: Can be pompted by one of the Lead Characters without a script

Narrator: Here Are the Instructions everyone, when the music stops, please Freeze, when the music starts, you can unfreeze!

(Music Starts)

Mrs. Beaver Here in Narnia we are having a hard time. It is always winter; Always winter and never Christmas. 

Mr. Tumnus: I am excited though, because I have invited my new friend Lucy from the Land of Spare Oom over to Tea—and the Queen has Not found out about our friendship. 

(Music Stops)

For some reason the Queen hates humans. Oh no look everyone is Frozen You are all frozen out there. 

Lucy: Oh no look, what happened?

Mr. Tumnus: They must have been celebrating without the Queen’s permission and she turned them into stone.

Aslan (Someone holding a Stuffed Lion walks on stage): Roar

Mr Tumnus & Lucy: Aslan Unfreezes Christmas

(Everyone Unfreezes, Music Starts)

(Aslan exits)

Mr Tumnus: Oh my gifts and packages! That must have been Aslan! Unfreezing their hearts for Christmas!

Lucy: Merry Christmas

Congregation: Merry Christmas

Scene 2

(Music Stops)

(Two People frozen back to back)

Mr Tumnus: Oh dear I do not like the look of this, this does not look of this, we must be following the Queen’s winter. 

Aslan—(can be a different person playing Aslan—roars and unfreezing them Music Starts)

Congregation: Aslan Unfreezes Christmas

1st Friend—I’ve been looking for you everywhere

2nd Friend-I’m so glad I’ve found you

(the two people hug)

Scene 3

(Music Stops)

Girl Holding a Babydoll by a manger Frozen

(Other people can be other characters in a manger scene as is appropriate/easy or not or can come on to sing)

Ms. Beaver: I remember this story

Mr. Tumnus: Yes the White Witch really is preventing Christmas now, by freezing this one. 

Aslan (again can be the same person or someone different) roars to unfreeze the girl Music Starts)

Congregation: Aslan Unfreezes Christmas

Girl puts the babydoll into the manger

Congreation: Merry Christmas

Everyone comes onstage: to sing (with the congregation if you choose)

Reader to close: Aslan has truly unfrozen Christmas, Look! For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders—and he is named, wonderful counsellor, mighty God, everlasting Father, Prince of Peace

Aslan: Roars One last Time

Silent Night or Away in the Manger or Your Favorite Christmas Hymn for Everyone to Sing

Dec 18th Jesus as Emmanuel

Justice Mercy & Light Extended Advent

Jesus as Emmanuel 
Matthew 1:18-25
Psalm 23:1-4 (or 23:4)
Psalm 42:1-2

Advent Candles Liturgy

Call to Worship
God, we long for you to be with us
God be with us
God we can almost taste your presence
Come let us celebrate the Prince of Peace Coming 

Call to Confession: God knows us and loves us. Come let us confess ourselves to God. 

Confession: God, sometimes it is hard to believe that you are with us. We confess that we are often more like Joseph than Mary. Ready to set things aside quietly, ready to avoid scandal, ready to believe to take the easiest path. Maybe Joseph was too ready to think that he was alone in the world. God remind us we are not alone, especially when we feel that way we pray. Amen. 

Assurance of Pardon: God is for us. No matter what. No heights nor depths nor angels nor demons can get between us or God, so we know and proclaim the truth: In Jesus Christ we are Forgiven. 

Prayer of the Day/Dedication: Love is love. God is with us not matter what. May we carry that in our pocket wherever we go we pray. Amen. 

Hymns: Love that Wilt Not Let Me Go, O Come, O Come Emmanuel, Hark the Herald Angels Sing, God of Peace: To Silent Night

With Children: Beauty and The Beast (probably any but check what happens to the sisters), Talk about how God transformed God’s very Self into a human being to be God with us, to turn us into even better versions of human–like Beauty loves the Beast

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Please Support my Writing, I am Funding some of my Doctorate in Creative Writing as a Public Theologianthrough donations https://gofund.me/554d36e3 Thank you to all those who have donated, I have successfully completed 2 years thanks to your support.

Full Extended Advent Resource

Dec 11th Justice & Joy, Magnificat Realized

Justice, Mercy & Light Extended Advent

Dec 11 Joy Candle
Light of Nations
Isaiah 42:1-9 Through Spirit bring Release to Prisoners
Matthew 12:15-21 Spirit of justice, fulfilling the prophecy
Psalm 146:1-10 Joy & Justice for All in Need
Luke 1:46-55 Magnificat 

Advent Candles Liturgy

Joy and Justice, A Topical Prayer

Call to Worship
God, what Joy is it when there is justice
God, your mercy is from everlasting to everlasting
Come let us worship Jesus, healer of nations
Come, let us worship our God

Call to Confession: How wonderful is it that we can bring everything to God? Come let us stand in the shadow of God’s care

Prayer of Confession: God, we confess that we do not understand your justice. It is foreign to us, completely different from human structures of justice and accounting. We confess that your mercy and healing and accounting makes no sense to us, and we spend far too much time trying to figure it out. When we could, instead, spend time sitting with Jesus. Why do we do that God? We confess we do not know. Teach us to spend time with you. Teach us to look for Jesus in unexpected places we pray. Amen.

Assurance of Pardon: Jesus forgives us, anytime, anywhere, always. Hear, feel, breathe the good news: In Jesus Christ we are forgiven. 

Hymns: Live Into Hope, Lord I Wanna Be a Christian, I’ve Got Peace Like River, Blessed Assurance Jesus is Mine, Away in the Manger, O Little Town of Bethlehem, Magnify the Lord, To O Come All Ye Faithful

With Children: Aint’ Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around by Kirkwood, Kathlyn J. Or Justice Is by Preet Bhara Talk about Justice and What that really means. 

Image Found Here

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Full Extended Advent Resource

Please Support my Writing, I am Funding some of my Doctorate in Creative Writing as a Public Theologian through donationshttps://gofund.me/554d36e3 Thank you to all those who have donated, I have successfully completed 2 years thanks to your support.

Dec 4th Love and Justice

Justice, Mercy & Light Extended Advent

Dec. 4
Esther Love Candle
Esther 4:1-17
For Such a Time as This, Esther was Made Queen
Matthew 5:13-16 Salt and Light 
Psalm 89:1-13

Advent Candles Liturgy

Topical Prayer: Love, A Prayer for Such a Time as This

Call to Worship
God we need your justice
For such a time as this to light our way
When salt and light is not enough, Jesus we need you
Come, let us look for God
God we are looking for your love
Come, let us love God together

Call to Confession: God you call to your love in the good and the bad times. Come let ourselves to God

Prayer of Confession: God, we confess that it is hard to come to you in uncertain times. How can anything be worthy of love at such a time as this? Who can sort out there feelings in this mess? We want time, to clean up, to get things in order, to research, to know things. God, you remind us that you are the city on the hill, not us. You are the salt in our food, not us. Be our salt and light, and remind us that we are allowed to be a mess and still love we pray. Amen

Assurance of Pardon: Jesus comes in the midst of emergencies, full of grace, so we know the truth: In Jesus Christ we are forgiven, right now. Amen. 

Prayer of the Day, Dedication: God, remind us the Grace does not wait, because we need its immediacy. Let us go forth full of grace we pray. Let it spill from our hands, our mouths and feet as we go, so that we may become the very embodiment of your love. May this be our prayer as we go about the world. Amen.

Hymns: We Are One In the Spirit, Here I am Lord, O Come O Come Emmanuel, I Love the Lord Who Heard My Cry, I Wonder as I Wander, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

With Children: Warm Fuzzies https://reenchantements.files.wordpress.com/2018/08/warm-fuzzy-tale.pdf Sharing Love vs. Hate in times of Trial
I feel its very important to note that we call Dandelion fuzz: Wishies in my family and also link “warm fuzzies” to dandelion seeds

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Please Support my Writing, I am Funding some of my Doctorate in Creative Writing as a Public Theologianthrough donations https://gofund.me/554d36e3 Thank you to all those who have donated, I have successfully completed 2 years thanks to your support.

Full Extended Advent Resource

Nov 27th Hope: Faith as a Way

Justice, Mercy & Light Extended Advent
Nov 27 Hope Candle
Faith as a Way of Life
Habakkuk 1:1-7; 2:1-4 3: [3B-6], 17-19 
Prophet grieved by injustice: Faith as a way, not an answer
Matthew 26: 36-38 Gethsemane Jesus is grieved, asks Disciples to watch
Psalm 73:21-26

Advent Candles Liturgy

Hope

Call to Worship
God, we gather in faith
Looking for your ways
God we gather looking for you
Stay with us, as we gather in your name God

Call to Confession: Come all you who are heavy burdened, let us lay them at God’s feet

Prayer of Confession: God, we confess that we want faith to be an easy answer to all of our questions, not a path to follow. I confess that like the disciples, sometimes keeping watch does not feel like enough. Sometimes faith does not feel like something to keep for others, or likes something that others can keep for me when I have a long lonely night of despair. I confess that sometimes the emptiness feels too overwhelming for me to trust the community to keep faith for me. Forgive us when we make one person keep faith alone. Help us to be a community of faith we pray. 

Assurance of Pardon: Jesus is with us, we are never alone. So know the truth: In Jesus Christ we are forgiven. Amen

Prayer of the Day/Dedication: Let us God forth reminded that there is an entire choir of Saints, holding the notes of faith, singing for us when we falter. Help us to rest  in the chorus we pray. Amen. 

Hymns: God the Weaver to Away in the Manger, Come Thou Long Expected Jesus, For All the Saints, We Walk By Faith and Not By Sight, A Mighty Fortress is Our God, It Came Upon a Midnight Clear (Which I feel like is an Advent Prophetic Song)

With Children: The Invisible String, by Patrice Karst What ties us altogether even when we cannot see one another 

Cover of The Invisible String: A mom and one kid whispering to another, the title, and a heart on a string, author: Patrice Karst, Illustrated by Geoff Stevenson

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Please Support my Writing, I am Funding some of my Doctorate in Creative Writing as a Public Theologianthrough donations https://gofund.me/554d36e3 Thank you to all those who have donated, I have successfully completed 2 years thanks to your support.

Full Extended Advent Resource