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From stable to garden with Jesus

Mary at the garden tomb

It is important to fully embrace and live out of what happened in a manger in Bethlehem and a garden tomb in Jerusalem.

God invites all children to play

Playing with God

He said “activity” instead of “nativity.” Maybe a six-year-old theologian named Drew had not made a mistake but instead voiced a great truth about God.

Salvaging Christmas amid coronavirus

Handmade Advent Candles for time of coronavirus

After a nine-month struggle to do ministry in a pandemic, pastors use creativity and flexibility to celebrate Advent safe from the coronavirus.

Grace for a time of trauma

Advent of grace and trauma

2020 has been marked by trauma — polarization, racial reckoning, economic hardship, denominational division, and fragility in our democracy. Bishop David Bard shares good news of God’s gift of grace.

Bishop’s Advent video offers hope

Advent video message by Bishop Bard

“This Advent season,” says Bishop David Bard, “we find ourselves in the wilderness, exiled from our usual practices.” The bishop offers a song about the new thing God is doing in these troubled times.

Books for your Advent journey

Books for Advent reading

‘Tis the season to give the gift of a good read, to yourself and others. Hope, peace, love, and joy fill these books’ pages recommended by the United Methodist Publishing House.

More Advent counsel from Bishop Bard

Advent message by Bishop Bard

Given the exponential rise of COVID cases in Michigan, Bishop David Bard urges local churches to refrain from in-person gatherings these next six weeks. “The good news of great joy still arrives,” he said.

Focus on hope this Advent

Christmas angel offering hope

This Advent “We have the opportunity to show people ritual tradition, and, most of all, hope,” says Kathy Pittenger, Coordinator of Children’s Initiatives for the Michigan Conference.

Online opportunities for learning

Online Learning options

Jesus and Justice are the focus of these online learning opportunities starting next week. Register now for the Christmas through Jewish Eyes experience or the Disabilities to Differences study.

Miracle at the manger

A manger with star

Inspired by a poem by Andy Vorbrich about the magic of Christmas, the Rev. John Boley adds his thoughts and thanks God for the Manger of Bethlehem, a miraculous thing.