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DECEMBER 2020
ADVENT WAITING

Waiting in the unknown
Waiting in darkness
Waiting in uncertainty

Mary waited
Waited in the unknown
Waited in darkness
Waited in uncertainty

Mary trusted
We are called to trust
Trust the emerging light

The road is long, and we are weary.
Her road was long, and she was weary.

Mary's light, her precious newborn baby
Is our light, our precious Savior

Let us seek the light, and trust the light.

This Advent is like no other. Waiting has taken on new meaning, as we wait in hope for the coming of our Savior and the coming of release from the pandemics that bind us. The collective grief is palpable. There are an unbearable number of empty chairs in too many homes. Yet traditions hold us together. We get creative, revise our plans, and come up with ways to gather safely, acutely aware of the fragility that is human life.

We offer two reflections this month. Spend time with each as you seek ways to live through the weeks and months ahead. Explore the history of your traditions, as new ones emerge out of necessity. Reflect on the need to trust this season of waiting.

We invite you to email us to learn how we can support you in reconnecting during this time of great need. We implore you to take good care of your whole self. We join you in trust-filled prayer.
REFLECTION REVISITED: THE GIFT OF TRADITIONS
Parenting is the ultimate example of “learning on the job.” Experience leads to confidence, and confidence is invariably followed by a new phase of uncharted territory. Such was the case for me this past year. Early on in my mothering, “Santa” and “Easter Bunny” began setting our breakfast table during their annual visit. What started as a way to simplify the fullness of the holiday morning quickly became something our children look forward to each Christmas and Easter Sunday. (And something I love to do.) To this day, we gather in one room and make our way downstairs together, eager to see what beauty and fun awaits us. As I was preparing the table last year—a little earlier and less privately than ever before—I felt sadness and shed more than a few tears about how things had changed...click here to keep reading.
REFLECTION: TRUST THE LIGHT
Waiting is rarely easy for any of us. Perhaps you experience times of waiting patiently and other times not so much. In our world of instant gratification, waiting has become less and less familiar. For me, waiting can feel like time standing still. Stuck at a red light. Standing in line at a store. Staring at a computer screen as it starts up. Sometimes waiting feels stressful as if time is being wasted. Take a deep breath, pause, and notice how you wait...click here to keep reading.
RETREAT, REFLECT, RENEW

Are you wondering what this Advent season will look like for you? The pandemic has changed our way of life and many of us will be wondering what that means for a season that is usually marked by gatherings and busy preparations. How can this time of uncertainty be an invitation to experience the true meaning of Advent? How are we called to surrender our expectations - like Mary did in her own unexpected situation - and look for new hope, peace, and joy?

Bring joy to the waiting. Join us for an Advent retreat.

ADVENT VIRTUAL RETREAT 
Joy: December 19
 All retreats are 11-1 PM CST on Zoom 
GRACE WITHIN - 20% OFF FOR 2020

GIFT YOURSELF WITH GRACE WITHIN

Wait no more to strengthen your spirit.
Is now the time to journey with a friend?

WITHIN MINISTRIES is offering a discount on Grace Within to ignite your spirit, feed your soul, and foster community with others in your circle through virtual gatherings.

Allow the journal to guide you to spiritual enrichment and connection to your inner calm.

  • Use the journal as an independent growth opportunity
  • Share it with one or two friends or family members
  • Gather virtually with a small group of women

This offer includes:
Facilitating Grace Within (sale price $28) limit 3 per order
Grace Within: A Personal Journal (sale price $12.80) limit 10 per order

This offer is available by email only. Include your name, phone, and shipping address.
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WE ARE HERE
WITHIN MINISTRIES remains able to serve your ministry needs while holding to the physical distance we have all been called to. Let us know how we can help.

Women are "gathering" in creative ways to remain present to one another and to nurture community at a time when we need it more than ever. Need help exploring options for your group? Contact us.

Consider a personal spiritual growth challenge using Grace Within.
Click here to get your personal journal.
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