This Advent season we will dive into a season of teaching called “The Shadows of Advent.” Advent is traditionally associated with light, and it should be as we await the arrival of the light of the world into the darkness. But we must remember it is light that casts a shadow. What is it about the light of Christmas that allows us to see the shadows that so often surface in this time – sadness, loneliness, fatigue and difficulty? Whatever the reason, perhaps Advent will allow us to peer into those shadows and discover that even in the shadows, God is with us.

LONGEST NIGHT GATHERING

The Longest Night service traditionally takes place on the winter solstice, which marks the shortest day and the longest night of the year. While the Advent season is often marked by hot chocolate, gifts, parties and celebrations, many of us hold deep grief and longing.  We want you to know that you loved and not alone. Join us on The Longest Night, as we recognize our collective grief and longings in this season.  We will engage this longing through prayer, scripture, song and the lighting of candles. Our gathering will be on Thursday, December 21st from 6-7pm

CHRISTMAS EVE GATHERINGS

Our Christmas Eve Gatherings are an incredible celebration to mark the end of Advent. This year we will have Gatherings at 3pm and 5pm. Childcare will be provided for kids ages 0-5.

Doors open at 2:30pm and 4:30pm – so come early to find parking (see our parking lots below) and drop your kiddos off in DCC Kids. 

If you would like to volunteer on Christmas Eve, sign-up using the form here.

ADVENT RESOURCES

Considering what we are living through this year, perhaps Advent and Christmas might take on new meaning and significance. We certainly need a season to be reminded that “the hopes and fears of all the years” have been met in Christ.  Here are some resources to help you experience the God who is with us.

BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS

Twenty-eight daily reflections paired with prayers and practices to honor our struggles during the holidays. Weekly resources make this Advent devotional suitable for group study as well

Featuring daily meditations for the complete seasons of Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany, contributors Scott Cairns, Emilie Griffin, Richard John Neuhaus, Kathleen Norris, Eugene Peterson, and Luci Shaw offer a tapestry of reflection, Scripture, prayer and history. These profound words are enhanced by classic and contemporary art masterpieces carefully selected by the editors.

From celebrated artist-storyteller Scott Erickson: 25 days of heart-stirring images and thought-provoking meditations to rekindle the wonder of God-with-Us in this season. Honest Advent creates a space for you to encounter the Incarnate Christ in unexpected places: like a pregnancy announcement in an era of political unrest and empirical bloodshed, the morning sickness of a Middle Eastern teenager, and the shocking biology of birth that goes far beyond the sanitized brand of Christmas as we know it.

“Advent is not about a sentimental waiting for the Baby Jesus,” Richard Rohr asserts. Advent is a time to focus our expectations and anticipation on “the adult Christ, the Cosmic Christ,” who challenges us to empty ourselves, to lose ourselves, to surrender.

An entry for each day in Advent with a graceful, grace-filled single word and simple prayer. Each reading offers a creative reflection rooted in scripture and engaging questions that stimulate anticipation of a meaningful Christmas season.

Reaches back into the pages of the Old Testament to explore the lineage of Jesus — the greatest gift — through the majestic advent tradition of “The Jesse Tree,” each day featuring its own exquisite ornament highlighting the Biblical story (free download of each of the 25 ornaments available from Voskamp’s website, annvoskamp.com).

A wide-reaching collection, pulling from many authors (male and female), across continents, countries, eras, and denominations. The entries, both poems and essays, are not frivolous, feel-good Advent readings; they are deep, sometimes jarring reflections, many with a strong orientation toward social justice.

KIDS & FAMILY RESOURCES

2023 Advent Guide

Here we are at the precipice of Christmas. Sounds… ominous? Well, that’s probably because our bodies instinctively remember the knot of nervous energy that propels us through it all. The busyness. The hustle. The last minute wrapping. The beauty of the first snowfall (or at least the cinematic version on the Hallmark Channel). The delight of Christmas lights (after they are hung, of course). The WOULD-YOU-STOP ARGUING-WE’RE-SUPPOSED-TO-BE-MAKING-MEMORIES moments. There are so many desires and longings wrapped up in every parcel, every must-make recipe, and must-do tradition. We dream of creating a glistening Christmas for our families or friends that makes us tired even before we’re finished imagining it. But what if we could take all those ideals and see what’s underneath, at the root of it all? It’s our hopes for peace and joy and love for ourselves, our people, and for our world. And we say, God, show us again how this goes. How do we bless the Christmas we actually have? Perhaps we can practice blessing our actual lives together this Advent.

Download the guide here.

Download the calendar here.

Book Recommendation

Learn the true meaning of Christmas through the eyes of the Donkey, Cow, Sheep, Shepherd, Angel, Camel, Wise Men, Joseph, and of course, baby Jesus. Find the book here. There is also a companion nativity set: Donkey in the Living Room Nativity

Book Recommendation

The beautiful, award-winning illustrations connect with the bestselling writing of Sally Lloyd-Jones so that the text of Scripture visually comes to life in the minds of children. The stories taken from the Gospels of the birth of Jesus are exceptional.  Get the book here.

Book Recommendation

This board book edition of Song of the Stars, written by New York Times bestselling author Sally Lloyd-Jones, is a Christmas book that explores the joy and excitement and celebration in all of creation at the coming of Jesus.  They’ve been waiting with eager longing for the coming of God’s long promised son, and when at last he arrives, the whole earth holds its breath: their Creator, Jesus, Emmanuel has come to the world that he made.  Mountains, trees, seas, skies, stars, animals—the rumor spreads that at last the time has come.  It’s time!  He’s here! Get the book here.