This morning, having kind of sorted this Sunday's harvest service, I am starting to move on to think about Advent. This has to operate at three levels... what we will do at the Gathering Place in Sunday mornings, what we will do in the joint evening services and what we will do as our midweek lunchtime reflections.
The last of these is the easiest, and I am revisiting something I used as a preaching series a few years back, and adapting it for a quiet, reflective devotional. The women in the Matthean genealogy will form our focus, and there will be a scarlet thread running through the series. The book Mother Roots by Helen Brush Pearson will form the basis for what we share over five weeks (an extended Advent!)
I have a couple of other ideas; one (not sure yet which) will form the basis for our morning worship, and the other may find its way (or not) into evening worship.
One is a variation on the Jesse Tree, and is an adaptation of a study series by David Adam called Candles in the Dark which runs through Advent and on to Epiphany as a coherent whole. The other is consider Journeying with the Magi, adapting the ideas in the study guide by Keith Duke, which I like as something a little different, and, with its focus on the gifts, the potential for a tidy three weeker leading up to the nativity service.
I'm meeting my C of S colleague in a couple of hours to plan the joint services, so hopefully after that the way forward will be a little clearer!
PS if you think this is early, look out for the special new Christmas bottles of J2O called Glitterberry, in a supermarket near you now!