Reflection from The Rev. Kathleen Gannon
How many days until Christmas? 27. How many shopping days until Christmas? 26.

We have a better way to mark the time until Christmas: Advent. Watching, praying and marking the time in hope is our way of building anticipation for Christmas. For on Christmas we remember that God broke into our world as a tiny baby, whose parents had nine months of watching and waiting for his arrival. The gender reveal for Mary and Joseph came in the voice of an angel – Gabriel. 
‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.
And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus.
Luke 1:31-32
What will God reveal to you in this Advent season?? Each day, set aside a little time to watch. Mark the time with prayer. Engage Advent.

In fact, our tradition has a calendar that can help you to mark the time of Advent. 

Perhaps you have an Advent Calendar? A calendar with a word of hope for each day until Christmas? Is it wood carved – with little doors to open each day? Or a colorful calendar filled with fine chocolates or dollar store sweets? Or do you have an Advent Calendar on your phone? 
Try this:   Go to your app store and find the Forward Movement mobile Advent Calendar app (from the publisher of Forward Day by Day).  It will cost you $1.99 and uses the gentle humor of award-winning cartoonist Jay Sidebotham for a daily reveal of God sightings. 
Or, how about a global Advent Calendar? 
The Society of St. John the Evangelist (SSJE) is a monastic community of the Episcopal Church and the Brothers at the monastery in West Newbury, MA created a word a day meditation for Advent and has global on-line participation. 
Simply go to the Advent Word website . Sign up is easy and free – your email address and your name. Each day of Advent beginning at 5am on Sunday, December 3, the monks will send you an Advent Word. You can #respond with words or images or music, on Facebook, on Instagram, on Twitter….
And, our tradition has a ritual that can help you to mark the time of watching in hope – an Advent Wreath. The Advent Wreath tradition started in 1839 with a Lutheran pastor in Germany who created a clever way to help the children mark the days until Christmas. His version had a candle for each of the 23 days of Advent. Ours has three blue candles, one pink candle, and a white candle for Christ in the center. Fresh greens, beautiful ceramics, simple candlesticks… Advent Wreaths come in all styles.
Use your Advent Wreath daily. Light the candles, read the prayers and scripture. You can do this alone or with your family, your guests, your neighbors. Click here for the suggested Advent Wreath ritual and readings .  

Join us at St. Paul’s on Sunday, December 3 after the services to make your own wreath from fresh greens. (See sign up)
Make your own Advent Wreath – a wonderful way to mark the days of Advent!
Guild Room

12/03/17 11:30am - 12/03/17 12:30pm

Bring your contribution of $25 to the Guild Room, and enjoy the fresh beautiful greens of your wreath until Christmas!
I'll be there!
I can't make it
Calendars with words of wisdom, clever and sweet. 
Wreaths with fragrant candles to illumine the scriptures.
How will you mark these days of Advent? What will God reveal to you? 

The light of Christ is here, now.
The light of Christ has been here since before time.
The light of Christ will shine for us again at Christmas.
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