RESOURCES FOR WORSHIP
ADVENT WORSHIP SERVICE RESOURCES
Digital resource from the General Commission on Religion and Race (UMC) includes suggested hymns/songs, a litany and opening prayer, a hands-on children's activity, and notes for sermon starters for the Lectionary text each week. ($)
Advent series from Discipleship Ministries (UMC). Includes worship planning, preaching notes, liturgical resources, hymn suggestions, discussion guides for youth and adults, and more. (free)
BLUE CHRISTMAS/LONGEST NIGHT SERVICES
Blue Christmas Prayer Service
This Blue Christmas Prayer Service is from The Upper Room. There is also a devotional book called Blue Christmas that may be helpful for those seeking light during a time of darkness.
MOTOR CITY WESLEY ADVENT SONGS
Motor City Wesley put together a collection of Advent songs in 2020 that they have made available again in 2021. You may also access the videos and chord charts in the Google Drive.
The Longest Night
During the year 2020, it seemed as though everyone felt the weight of the pandemic and the way it impacted every aspect of our lives. 12 United Methodist pastors, deacons, and musicians offered a virtual service as a way to find a way of meeting that hurt and grief in a way that leads to healing and wholeness.
STATEWIDE CHRISTMAS EVE SOCIAL MEDIA CAMPAIGN
With most local churches offering Advent and Christmas services online, the Michigan Conference is launching a social media and Google Adword campaign the week of December 20-24. Targeted Facebook ads in 11 Michigan media markets will guide Michiganders to a conference webpage that lists and links local online Christmas Eve services by city. December 23/24, those searching for key words like "Christmas Eve," "Christmas Service," "Online church service" will be guided to the same page.
Please take a moment to confirm your local church is listed correctly by clicking the red button below. For updates or to add your church, please contact conference communications.
FAMILY CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICES & IDEAS
Children and Family Christmas Eve Service/Pageant Service Ideas
Several scripts are available for churches to use for Family Christmas Eve services. Most of them are free. Explore more here.
Online Children's Christmas Eve Service (2020)
A 15-minute children's Christmas Eve worship service featuring 26 families across Michigan. The service shares the ABC's of Christmas. The service has two versions. The video can be downloaded and used as a stand alone version or you can use the editable version to include a greeting from your local church. A script can be downloaded here.
DECEMBER 26TH IDEAS
This beautiful statewide service of readings and carols includes contributions by all 9 Michigan Conference Districts. Final editing is in progress, and a final version of this service will be available at the same link no later than Friday, December 10, for download, embed, or sharing by link https://vimeo.com/652337495 by your local church on December 26 or another date.
RESOURCES FOR FAITH FORMATION
Advent Resources for Families
Advent and Christmas are significant to children and churches. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to provide opportunities for creative ministry around Advent and Christmas. This toolbox has ideas, articles, resources, children's books, and more for 2021. While some of the resources were created with ministry in a pandemic in mind, others may need to be adapted. Many of the resources can also be used or adapted for ministry with all ages.
#pictureAdvent is a daily online devotional for all ages. Each day offers scripture, photos, reflection questions and a prayer, similar to the visio divina practice. For those who like an active challenge, there is also an Around the World Christmas challenge board.
Birthing a promise, building a movement
Anti-Racism Readings and Reflections for Advent
We find ourselves in a time of expectant waiting, anticipation, and preparation for the birth of a Promise in the Holy Child. Christ came into the world in an unexpected place in an unpredictable year. Over 2,000 years later, we find ourselves with similar challenges today, but it is the birth of Christ that reminds us that we are to continue building a movement for the Kin-dom of God that calls us to be in beloved community with one another.
There are many options for Advent Studies and Devotionals. Many are recommended in the staff picks above. The links below are suggestions. Please review the resources you choose for theology, context, and age considerations. If you are not sure, Kathy Pittenger would be happy to assist you.
RESOURCES FROM 2020
Meet Caleb Williams
These resources come to us from Rev. Caleb Williams. Deacon Caleb has led music ministries in a wide variety of congregations. He has led traditional choirs, hand drumming, handbells, contemporary worship bands, and even an opera or two. This summer he launched a new subscription service CalebBWilliams.com for worship music/hymn videos to help local churches offer a quality online worship experience. He is also now serving as Pastor at Milwood UMC in Kalamazoo.
Free original music to use during Advent
Never Be The Same: Learning Video
Never Be The Same: Week 1
Never Be The Same: Week 2
People, Look East
Performed by Carter Cortelyou
A Time of Prayer for Advent
15 minutes of beautiful music by M. Hayes, performed by Eric Strand, piano.
Do you hear what I hear
Music by Jean Watson and guitarist Phil Keaggy. This may be used in local churches
Carol of the Bells
Music by Jean Watson. This may be used in local churches.