As Advent begins, we stand once again amid the destruction left by devastating storms. In the darkness, we yearn for light, a UMC bishop writes.
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Visitors to the spontaneous Puerto Rican Christmas-season parties called parrandas often play the güiro, the instrument pictured here. Creative Commons / le Guiro
A pastor shares the traditions of her native island, where big parties with steaming bowls of delicious soup called asopao symbolize abundance, hope and resistance.
After worship services in the Bethany memory care unit, retired United Methodist Bishop Kenneth Carder goes around the room, greeting each resident by name. Carder is serving as interim chaplain at Bethany. Photo by Matt Brodie.
Serving as chaplain at a memory care facility, a retired UMC bishop learns that the longing for home is an innate hunger, buried deeper than our memories or imaginings. And it lies at the heart of Advent.
Mary and Joseph lost Jesus amidst the Passover crowds. They tried their best but weren’t perfect, and I don’t have to be either, writes a pastor.
Jesse Lawton German collects the offering during services at Triune Mercy Center, an active, vibrant church that is both a place of worship and a thriving hub of ministries.
Photos by Ken Osborn
More than just a ministry to people who are homeless, Triune Mercy Center in Greenville, South Carolina, is a vibrant -- and sometimes messy -- church where rich, poor and those in between worship and serve together.
In our world of instant delivery and fast passes, the countercultural season of Advent offers no shortcuts. Instead, we must walk slowly alongside the expectant couple, beholding the ordinary and tuning our hearts to the Holy Spirit, writes a Presbyterian pastor.
Clergy who work in settings other than the local church experience a sense of dislocation during this season. But, as a university chaplain has found, that discomfort can lead to new insights.
We must transform the workplace, the home and the play place into spaces that care for the vulnerable, for Christ himself.
Moving from darkness to light is part of the Advent journey for an artist, writer and minister who uses the arts to encourage contemplation during the season.