Advent Challenges

As well as the ‘Worship & Teaching’, ‘Buildings’ and ‘Land’ sections, the EcoChuch Award we are working towards at St. Luke’s also has ‘Lifestyle’ and ‘Community & Global’ sections.  Advent is a time to prepare for the gift of Jesus at Christmas and a great opportunity to remind ourselves to put others first and give to those in need, as well as to those we love.  There are many “Advent Challenges” we can join in with that can encourage us to think of others and of our impacts on our planet which then affect those who are most vulnerable.

The Bible Society is running an Advent Challenge. One registers online and receives an email with three challenges to pick one from each day. Last year they included things like encouraging someone, tidying a shared space or speaking to a rough sleeper.

Tearfund can send you daily advent prayer emails if you register.

Another advent activity is ‘The Kindness Elves’ which encourage acts of kindness throughout advent.  With children you can have little elf toys that leave notes encouraging them to do a kind thing each day and thanking them for what they did yesterday.  All ages can join in though!  A kindness can be feeding birds, inviting a neighbour for tea, filling a box for a food bank, or making a cake for someone.

Another idea is a reverse advent calendar where one gives instead of receives each day, such as a challenge to give something for each day of Advent to a food bank or homeless shelter.

Or, you could do something through Advent that you want to become a good habit afterwards, like stopping using plastic bags, cling-film, plastic bottles, plastic straws and/or disposable cups and using instead cloth bags, beeswax coated cloth food wrap, a re-usable bottle, no or paper straws and a portable, re-usable cup.

Lastly, an idea that is also a Christmas decoration – gratitude chains!  The idea is that you take a strip of paper each day and write something you are thankful for on it.  You make a loop with the first then add the next one on each day to build a paper chain.  Then one can read them all later on New Year’s eve, or perhaps save it for a day “in the bleak mid-winter” sometime in January/February, and be reminded of all the things we have to be thankful for!

1 Chronicles 29 v 10-14


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