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Searching for Advent 2020

Into the winter darkness Advent dawns, and we begin to see. God’s incarnation breaks like light into our shadowed world, arrives enfleshed: Jesus.  “Prepare a way for God to come among us,” the prophets cry, “Raise all things cast down, make new what has grown old. Reconcile all earthly things in Him.”

Our diocesan Christian Formation Task Force invites you to explore the dawning of Christ in your life through many events and resources available to The Episcopal Church in East Tennessee. We invite you to use them for formation, spiritual development, and personal devotion as well as for companionship on our journey to Bethlehem. Many of these resources are free and available for use from home. 

Especially because the faithful are dispersed this year by the pandemic, we hope you can join others in our parishes and worshiping communities for retreat, worship, prayer, and formation. May you look to the light-tinged horizons where God’s love, justice, and peace are already working: in our lives, our homes, our communities. Expect the glory of the Lord to be revealed.

Invitation to Participate


  • Ways to Celebrate Advent
    • Start December 1st and read a chapter of the book of Luke each day – there are 24 chapters – on Christmas Eve you will have read an entire account of Jesus’s life and wake up Christmas morning knowing who and why we celebrate
    • Create a seasonal silence by watching a minimum of TV, listen to quiet music, sit outside, or take a walk on a clear night and watch the stars
    • Decorate cookies with stars instead of Santa Claus
    • Leave the Christmas tree bare except for white lights until Christmas Eve or the last week before Christmas; hang the stockings up on Christmas Eve, too; then leave decorations up for the 12 days of Christmas, taking them down and putting them away only after Epiphany
    • Tie a purple ribbon around the wreath on the door, change it to red and gold on Christmas Eve
    • Set out the empty crèche and add figures each week until the holy family appears on Christmas Eve, and the wise men appear on Epiphany
    • Create an Advent wreath and candles
    • Follow an Advent calendar
    • Attend special services for those who’ve lost loved ones
    • Ten Ideas to See You Through The Holidays, from Episcopal Church Foundation Vital Practices
    • Checkout one of the events, retreats, worship opportunities, kits, activities, calendars, books, blogs, podcasts, movies, music, or art listed below
  • Events & Retreats

    2020 Women’s Christmas Retreat: Women’s Christmas

    Jan Richardson–artist, poet, Methodist minister, offers  “What the Light Shines Through,” a retreat whose readings, art, questions, and blessings invite us into mending, restoration, and healing. This PDF can be used anytime, alone or with friends. Free.

    St. Paul’s A Home Advent Quiet Day

    This quiet day based on the lections for Advent II will explore God’s peace, and how this peace not only heals and comforts us, but also disrupts and challenges us.  Us this PDF to guide your own quiet day at home.

    Virtual Advent Pilgrimage

    A virtual journey following the footsteps of Jesus, in the Gospel of Luke — from Mary’s annunciation to Jesus’ transfiguration on the mount.  Hosted by St. Martins-in-the-Fields Episcopal Church.  Walk at your own pace, in your own neighborhood, but be transported to a whole different time and world through meditations, scripture, and special bonus videos along the way.  Log your miles to unlock “milestones” along the path which teach you about  the landscape, the place, scripture, and perhaps help you reflect on your own place in the story.

    Christ | Christmas | COVID, Thursday, November 19, 11:30 AM ET

    Provocative, imaginative, and engaging short talks from both world-renowned speakers and emerging voices, Christ| Christmas | Covid will provide space to grieve and lament, while reclaiming the prophetic hope of this season.  A daily Advent devotional featuring both MN pastors and national Christian leaders that will help people rediscover spiritual practice that connects to their daily lives. For a modest fee you can receive all of the talks and a small group discussion guide so that entire congregations can use this resource in the days leading up to Christmas 2020 

    Pre-Advent Reflection (The Grace of Advent in Time of Pandemic) with The Rev Julia Gatta, Saturday,  November 21, 10-11:45 ET

    The Commission on Spirituality and the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama “The Grace of Advent in Time of Pandemic”. Mother Gatta is a professor at the School of Theology at Sewanee. Many people in EFM are familiar with her latest book, Life in Christ. This will be a virtual event. Cost is $10. Please encourage friends to join us!

    Online Book Discussion for Advent 2020 – Henri Nouwen’s Life of the Beloved, Wednesday, November 25 – Wednesday, December 24

    An online book discussion as we delve into Henri Nouwen’s “Life of the Beloved” — an inspirational meditation on living a spiritual life in a stressful and, at times, frightening world. We begin on Wednesday, November 25th for greetings and introductions. Then starting on Sunday, November 29th we will journey through Advent discussing and sharing insights gleaned from this ageless, yet very timely, book.

    Illuminated 2020, Sunday, November 29 – Saturday, December 26

    This new online Advent retreat intertwines writing, art, music, and community, creating spaces of reflection and rest that you can enter into from anywhere you are, in the way that works best for you. With an elegant simplicity, the Illuminated retreat fits easily into the rhythm of your days. Led by author, artist Jan Richardson. $90/individuals, 8 people or more $60/individual

    Blue Christmas: An Experience of Light and Hope in an Unprecedented Advent, Sunday, November 29 – Wednesday, December 24

    An honest Advent devotional that meets people where they are—in their hurts, fears, and disappointments—and offers them hope through the birth of Jesus Christ. In an online experience, we’ll gather around this devotional guide to experience scripture, meditation, and prayer, and we will be moved to action together. Join our open group alone and make new friends, or request a private group classroom for your group of 5 or more. $25.

    Reflections on Life of the Beloved (by Henri Nouwen) Tuesdays, December 1, 8, 15, and 22

    Join The Episcopal Church of the Ascension in Knoxville and The Rev. Caroline Vogel for Noon Day Prayer on Facebook Live to read along, watch live, or watch a recording at a day and time of your liking.  Chime in on the comments section to share your thoughts and heart stirrings about being God’s beloved both individually and as a parish.  Dec 1 – Taken, Dec 8 – Blessed, Dec 15 – Broken, and Dec 22 – Given.

    Good Samaritan Quiet Day, Hope in the In-Between, Saturday, December 5, 10 AM – Noon

    The Church of the Good Samaritan in Knoxville is hosting a quiet day via Zoom for members of the parish and across the diocese.  Participants will not be actively on Zoom the whole time, but there will be a collection of three reflections and time for personal meditation in between – facilitated by Ms. Rara Schlitt and The Rev. Elizabeth Farr.  Contact the church at (865) 693-9591 or for details and a link.

    Lessons and Carols at The University of the South, Sewanee, Sunday, December 6, 7 PM CT

    Started in the late 1800’s, this Advent season service is an Anglican tradition celebrated around the world. The service is a mixture of scripture reading and choral arrangements with themes of hope, celebration, and liberation. While we won’t be able to gather in person, members of the Sewanee family will have access to a digital version of the annual Festival of Lessons and Carols, adapted for the unprecedented circumstances of this year. The viewing will be available HERE at 7 PM CT on Sunday, December 7.

    While It Is Still Dark: Advent Quiet Morning, Friday, December 11, 9-12 ET

    Advent themes of exile and longing invite us to dwell more deeply in our experiences of brokenness and loss, darkness and “not yet,” always in the context of Christian hope. Spiritual Companion and poet Kathy Staudt will guide us – through poetry, journaling and guided prayer – to reclaim ways to live in hope and respond to this season’s holy invitations.

    Centering Prayer Advent (Virtual) Retreat, Saturday, December 12, 7:30-6:00 ET

    St. Mary’s Sewanee invites you to spend time in prayerful silence and contemplation during this day-long Advent Centering Prayer retreat led by the Rev. Tom Ward and Rebecca Paluzzi. During this day, you are encouraged to fast from listening to the news and using electronic devices so that you can make holy space to observe silence with the group and on your own.

    Blue Christmas ~ Hope Revealed, December 19, 7 PM ET

    A service for those whom the holidays are not necessarily merry and bright; for those who have lost loved ones during holiday seasons past or present, for those whose family get-togethers are more stressful than joyful, and for those who the darkness of the season is overwhelming; for those whose loved ones are not experiencing the joy of the season for some reason. Rev. Amanda Diamond, a United Methodist pastor, will lead us on the journey from despair to hope through readings and meditations.  All are welcome.  Led by The Rev. Amanda Diamond via Zoom.

  • Worship

    Episcopal Peace Fellowship – Justice & Peace Preaching Series, November 29 – February 14

    Beginning on Advent 1, running through the last Sunday after the Epiphany (November 29, 2020 through February 14, 2021), Episcopal Peace Fellowship will offer sermons for each Sunday, focusing on the social justice issues facing our world. EPF invited prominent preachers from around the Church to create a sermon/homily and then to record it with video so that it can be placed on the Episcopal Peace Fellowship’s website and made available to peace partner parishes, and all of the parishes of the Episcopal Church. Individuals, clergy and congregations can access these sermons/homilies to highlight the Scripture’s call for a justice in our human relationships.  They can be used during Mass or for Christian education classes.

    Taize Advent Services, Wednesdays in December, 7 PM ET

    December 2, 9, 16, and 23 at 7 PM ET from the Church of the Good Shepherd, Lookout Mountain, TN via Facebook Live. Contemplative candlelight services of Evening Prayer featuring the music of Taizé offered my members of the Good Shepherd Choir with soloists, violin and flute. A brief meditation on the scriptures of the Sundays of Advent will be offered at each service.  A feast for the eyes with candles and icons and for the ears with music and word.

    A Service of Light Liturgy Example

    In 2019, St Timothy’s, Signal Mountain, held a service of light especially for those who have lost someone they love to prepare for Christmas.  This liturgy is moving and meaningful for so many.  This PDF is from the previous service so that you can create your own.

  • Kits & Calendars

    2020 Gifts for Life Advent Calendar

    From Episcopal Relief and Development is great for individuals, couples, Small Groups, Sunday School Classes, or families who want to intentionally increase their financial giving to others. They also offer other activities and resources in their One Thousand Days of Love Advent Toolkit

    Advent 2020 Calendar 

    From Orange Kids and Parent Cue, this Advent calendar is available for free download if you provide your email address. Intended to encourage gathering as a family, this calendar offers brief conversation starters and activities to build the anticipation leading up to Christmas, some silly or seemingly unrelated and some more meaningful. Items include writing a card to someone, having a gift-wrapping competition, and donating toys to a local shelter or thrift store. A key selling point is that this calendar is available in both Spanish and English. 

    Advent Calendar Cards new from Salt

    Each day has its own hand-illustrated card that can be put into numbered envelopes, hung up, or used in another way. Sundays include words from scripture, a brief meditation, and a simple prayer; weekday cards include a simple, engaging daily practice to try. We love the beauty of these. The personal use download is $10 and they offer very reasonable increased costs for use on a larger scale ($35 for 100 or fewer congregation members, $45 for 100-500 members, $60 for 500+ members). They have a handful of other Advent resources including a Mason Jar Advent Calendar in their Printable Resources.

    Advent Email Devotional Sign Up with Living Compass

    Sign up HERE to receive the daily readings from the Advent 2020 devotional Practicing Hope with All Your Heart, Soul, Strength, and Mind by email.  The first reflection will arrive in your inbox the morning of Sunday, November 29, 2020, and will continue daily through Christmas Day.  Seven writers have combined to offer daily reflections that will enhance your capacity to experience and express hope.  Who couldn’t use a daily dose of hope delivered to their inbox every day during the weeks leading up to Christmas?

    Advent Prayer Chains

    Kathleen Crevasse provided this PDF for families of all kinds and sizes to make Advent prayer chains.

    Advent Word

    An interactive, global Advent Calendar offering images and meditations for reflection every day of Advent. You can download the official #AdventWord graphics here. #AdventWord is great for concentrating on specific terms and practices pulled from the Lectionary readings and Way of Love practices. This year, Forward Movement is offering Waiting and Watching: Advent Word Reflections for only $7 and less if buying in bulk. Sybil MacBeth also partnered with Forward Movement and #AdventWord to create the Waiting and Watching: Advent Word Poster to help folks practice Praying in Color while participating in #AdventWord (1-2 is $12; 3+ is $10).

    Celebrating Advent at Home

    This PDF was provided by The Rev Claire Keene and was formatted to be copied on two sides and folded into a booklet.  It can be used for a wreath-lighting devotion every night of Advent, as scripture is suggested for each night.

    Do Not Be Afraid Advent Resources from Illustrated Ministry

    Illustrated worship resources for children including bulletin, bible story coloring pages, a virtual Christmas pageant, an illustrated devotional, an illustrated Advent for families, illustrated nativity figures, and more.

    Everyday Faith Calendar

    From Concordia Publishing House. This year they have been offering monthly calendars that include daily scripture passages to read and questions for reflection. These are a great way to start daily faith practices at home. The December calendar isn’t out yet, but you can see previous months to get an idea of what to expect.

    Faithful Families: For Advent & Christmas, Traci Smith

    This new book of faith practices for Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany will help parents, grandparents, Sunday school teachers, pastors, and anyone who cares about kids find easy and meaningful ideas for bringing the sacred back into the season. The book includes prayers, practices, and stories, grouped by different themes of the season, from Decorating, to Family Time, to Giving, to Telling the Story, and more. Practices include: Making an Advent Wreath, Christmas Card prayers, Hot Chocolate Gratitude Party, Year Round Christmas Gift, Silent Night Star Walk, Birthday Party for Jesus, Leaving Hay for Camels, Memory Box for the Year to Come, and many, many more! An affordable option for churches wanting to share a fun resource with families ($5 for 1-6 copies, $35 for up to 100 copies, and $50 for up to 500 copies). Each day rotates through practices under the headings of LIGHT, PRAY, SERVE, SHARE, and CONNECT. Examples include lighting a candle for hope, taking a treat to a neighbor, and sharing when you have felt God’s love.

    Families Celebrate Advent and Christmas 2020-2021

    A colorful deck of cards that is full of rituals, prayers and reflections. Endlessly flexible for busy schedules, you can create a new after-meal ritual, use them as decorations, or carry them on the go. Explore the entire season from Advent to Christmas through Epiphany. These make a great gift for families in your congregation – to create a new ritual at a specific time of day or carry them on the go! A pack of cards is $9.99. Special quantity discount pricing available for orders placed through Augsburg Fortress.

    Get ready for Christ(mas)! Advent Calendar 2020

    Free from the United Church of Canada. The way that this calendar de-centers the self in activities is refreshing. Examples include sending a card or a note to someone, asking a loved one how you can pray for them, and having a garbage-free or reduced-garbage day. Their Advent Unwrapped page offers a number of other great ideas and resources.  

    Journeying the Way of Love Advent Calendar 2020 

    Free from The Episcopal Church via download. It is particularly good for older children, teens, and adults. There are prompts for reflection and potentially discussion together. Examples include setting a timer for three minutes and repeating the prayer “Here I am, God” until the time is up; taking a different route to work, school, or play and noticing what you encounter differently; and considering what part of gathering for worship fills your heart with hope. This could pair well with other Way of Love resources like the Advent Curriculum here.  

    Practical Ways to Celebrate Advent in the Home

    The Rev Claire Keene provided this PDF list of varied suggestions for individuals and families to celebrate Advent in their home.

    Praying in Color

    Sybil MacBeth’s prayer practice Praying in Color was born when her desperation to pray for family and friends intersected with her love of color and doodling.  At this link, Sybil provides guidance for how to introduce Praying in Color as a practice with many free coloring templates. Her designs from previous years are available, too. Free.

    Preparing to Become the Beloved Community curriculum revised for Advent 2020

    New and updated Advent and Christmas resources for congregations, dioceses, and communities of faith are available, with additional resources coming soon. Available now: Preparing to Become the Beloved Community Advent curriculum; Way of Love Digital Invitation Kit; updated Journeying the Way of Love Advent calendar and curriculum; AdventWord 2020; Episcopal Migration Ministries Refugee Prayer Vigil. And sign up for daily Advent and Christmas emails. Find Advent and Christmas resources from The Episcopal Church here. More In English here. In Spanish here.

    Rend the Heavens – An Advent Study of Isaiah

    The Rev Claire Brown and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Chattanooga have shared their guide for studying Isaiah and Advent.  Use this PDF to follow along as an individual, family, or small group.

    Slow Down. Quiet. It’s Advent Coloring Calendar Poster 

    This Forward Movement calendar offers ideas for prayer, helping others, and being thoughtful about the true meaning of Christmas. The cost of $12 per pack of 25 posters is even manageable on a large scale (price decreases to $7 per pack over 5).

    Starry Black Night

    A Womanist Advent devotional.  From Unbound, an interactive journal on Christian social justice.  Online, click on a different devotional for each Sunday and mid-week of Advent as well as Christmas through Epiphany.  Alternatively, download a PDF of all of the devotions, and interactive with a daily word.

    The Painted Prayerbook

    With original artwork by Jan Richardson, this blog explores the intersections of writing, art, and faith, plus a few other things besides. Its pages include a weekly reflection on a text from the lectionary (the three-year cycle of readings that take us through much of the Bible).

    Waiting and Watching Advent Coloring Poster

    Create your own Advent calendar with this delightful poster by Sybil MacBeth, author and principle doodler/artist for the popular series, Praying in Color. The poster is part of the #AdventWord initiative, which invites reflection and prayer on a particular word as we wait and watch for Jesus. The five-pack of posters is a perfect companion to Forward Movement’s book, Waiting and Watching: Advent Word Reflections, and a great way to engage the entire household (and your friends and neighbors) in this holy season. Posters are 17×22, folded to 8.5 x 11; sold in packs of 5.

    What Does This Season Mean? Advent at Home

    A beautiful resource for households that supports the celebration of Advent at home, by Jennifer McNally & Anna V. Ostenso Moore, November 2020.  The handout is this PDF.

  • Books & Blogs

    Advent in Narnia: Reflections for the Season, by The Rev. Heidi Haverkamp

    “Walking into Advent can be like walking through the wardrobe.”  C. S. Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe fits naturally into the Advent season.  These 28 devotions alternate between scripture and passages from the novel to prompt meditation on Advent themes.  Each devotion also includes questions for reflection.  The book provides several resources for churches, small group discussion, and ideas for creating a “Narnia Night” for families.

    Awaiting the Child: An Advent Journal, by Isabel Anders

    “The season of Advent offers us, each year, an opportunity to seek God within the geography of our souls―while living outwardly amid the roar and tumult of worldly events”

    Christmastide: Prayers for Advent Through Epiphany from The Divine Hours, Phyllis Tickle

    The third and final volume in a trilogy of prayer manuals compiled by Publishers Weekly religion editor Phyllis Tickle as a contemporary Book of Hours to guide Christians gently yet authoritatively through the daily offices.

    I Am Mary: Advent Devotional, by Carol Howard Merritt

    In this Advent devotional, join young Mary as she experiences the surprise, confusion, fear, anticipation, and blessing that follows her brave response to God’s call: “Here am I, Lord.” Listen carefully, and you may hear that call in your own life. From the first Sunday of Advent through Christmas Day, each daily devotion includes a scripture verse, a reflection, and a prayer, plus an Advent candle lighting service as a free download.

    Keep Watch With Me: An Advent Reader for Peacemakers, by Claire Brown & Michael T McRay

    Co-author, Claire Brown, serves as clergy in our own diocese, for St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Chattanooga, TN.  Each day of Advent is guided by a different author providing a text, a reflection, a prayer, and a practice as well as a brief bio. Brian McLaren says, “[he] can’t imagine a more meaningful, interesting, spiritually enriching, and relevant Advent resource”.

    Kneeling in Bethlehem, by Ann Weems

    A lovely collection of poems for the Advent season

    Light of the World: A Beginner’s Guide to Advent, by Amy Jill Levine, andLight of the World: Leader’s Guide

    Author, professor, and biblical scholar Amy-Jill Levine explores the biblical texts surrounding the story of the birth of Jesus. Join her as she traces the Christmas narrative through the stories of Zechariah and Elizabeth, Mary, the journey to Bethlehem, and the visit from the Magi.

    Materiality as Resistance: Five Elements for Moral Action in the Real World, by Walter Brueggemann

    In a season of preparing for the Word to be made flesh so that God’s reign comes on earth, Bruegemann’s thoughts offer us ways to expect and to live the kingdom now, congruent with Mary’s Magnificat– lifting up the lowly, filling the hungry with good things, remembering mercy, enfleshing our Lord’s prayer to live “on earth as it is in heaven.”

    Night Visions: Searching the Shadows of Advent and Christmas, by Jan Richardson

    Jan Richardson’s original artwork, reflections, poetry, and prayers draw the reader into the quiet spaces of an often-frenzied season. Beautifully designed with color artwork throughout, Night Visions beckons us to encounter the God who dwells in darkness as well as in daylight.

    Not a Silent Night: Mary Looks to Bethlehem, by Adam Hamilton

    This Advent study begins at the end, with Mary at the Crucifixion and Resurrection, travels back in time as she witnesses Jesus’ life and ministry, and ends with the birth of Jesus through a book, accompanying DVD, a guide for leaders, and a youth study guide.

    Our Hope and Expectation: Devotions for Advent and Christmas 2020-2021

    by Paul Hoffman, Michael Coffey, Annabelle Markey, Rozella Haydée White, Troy M. Troftgruben, and Pam Fickenscher. Explore the Advent season, and celebrate the joy of the 12 days of Christmas and day of Epiphany. Our Hope and Expectation includes daily devotions based on year B scripture readings (in the Revised Common Lectionary) for Sundays and festival days between the first Sunday of Advent and Epiphany. In addition to devotions, the book offers household blessings and prayers to enrich your preparations and celebrations.

    Preparing for Christmas with Richard Rohr

    A pocket-sized booklet of daily meditations for Advent. Rohr invites readers not merely to prepare for the birth of Jesus on Christmas Day, but for the coming of the cosmic Christ, who brings the true kingdom of heaven to us on earth.

    The Irrational Season, by Madeleine L’Engle

    This memoir follows the liturgical year from one Advent to the next, with L’Engle reflecting on the changing seasons in her own life as a writer, wife, mother, and global citizen. Unafraid to discuss controversial topics and address challenging questions, L’Engle writes from the heart in this compelling chronicle of her spiritual quest to renew and refresh her faith in an ever-changing world and her ever-changing personhood. Originally published in 1977.

    The Painted Prayerbook, by Jan Richardson

    Meditations, art, and poetry. With original artwork by Jan Richardson, this blog explores the intersections of writing, art, and faith, plus a few other things besides. Its pages include a weekly reflection on a text from the lectionary (the three-year cycle of readings that take us through much of the Bible). These lectionary reflections emerge from a process of lectio divina (“sacred reading”), the ancient art of praying with sacred texts, including the text of our own life. The art pieces that appear with the weekly lectionary reflections are painted paper collages that Jan creates as part of the process of doing lectio with the texts.

    The Womb of Advent, by Mark Bozzuti-Jones

    The author offers a unique perspective on the season of Advent with scripture readings, prayers, 4 weeks of meditations that focus on the growth of Jesus in the womb of Mary as he approaches the day of his birth, learns his mother’s voice, responds to the presence of light and dark, and begins to position himself for birth. What does this teach us about our own spiritual journey through Advent? That waiting and preparation is essential to the Christian life. By reflecting on our own birth experiences and Jesus’s own progress through the womb, Christians learn how to remain intimate with God, how to approach the light, and how to get ready for new birth in Christ.  Church Publishing is providing a Free download until Jan 6, 2021.

    Through the Advent Door: Entering a Contemplative Christmas, by Jan Richardson

    Through the Advent Door reveals the hidden pathways into the holidays we have always longed for, guiding us into a realm that shimmers with mystery and imagination. Like an Advent calendar, each day opens a new door, offering rich treasures that beckon us deep into this sacred season.

    Waiting, Accepting, Journeying, and Birthing: A Four Week Advent Devotional, by Sarah Bessey

    Guided by the Carmelite themes of Waiting, Accepting, Journeying, and Birthing, this devotional from Sarah Bessey offers readers new prayers, scripture, original essays by yours truly, and reflection questions for each Sunday of Advent as we journey towards Christmas. It is available in various forms on her website.

    Waiting and Watching: Advent Word Reflections

    These reflections are part of a larger initiative called AdventWord, a global community praying and walking together during this holy season. The daily reflections include a response or action item and a prayer and each day features a doodling prompt by artist and Praying in Color author Sybil MacBeth for those who enjoy a hands-on approach to prayer.

    Watch for the Light: Readings for Advent and Christmas

    Essays for Advent through Epiphany (includes Dorothy Day, C. S. Lewis, Oscar Romero, Philip Yancey, Eberhard Arnold, Johann Christoph Arnold, J. Heinrich Arnold, Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Alfred Delp, Søren Kierkegaard, Annie Dillard, Kathleen Norris and others)

    What Are You Waiting For?, by Christine McSpadden

    The author seeks to transfigure your experience of waiting.  Embark on a seasonal journey as these daily meditation work on your soul to bring a richer quality and depth to your understanding and perception of waiting as a lively and life-giving facet of faith.

    What the Heart Already Knows, by Phylis Tickle

    107 Pages published in 1985.  Phyllis Tickle, founding editor of the religion department at Publishers Weekly, is one of the most highly respected authorities and popular speakers on religion in America today. She is the author of more than two dozen books, a lector and lay eucharistic minister in the Episcopal Church, and a senior fellow of the Cathedral College of Washington National Cathedral.

  • Podcasts


    The #AdventWord 2020 podcast will be daily beginning November 29th. Available on Apple Podcasts or anywhere you listen to podcasts. Subscribe today!

  • Movies

    Babette’s Feast (1987) on IMDb

    During the late 19th century, a strict religious community in a Danish village takes in a French refugee from the Franco-Prussian War as a servant to the late pastor’s daughters.  It’s a wonderful “parable” of Jesus’ entrance into our world under dark, dreary, and dangerous circumstances, his becoming one of us, his self-sacrifice, his healing and bountiful feeding of us, his remaining with us.

    It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) on IMDB

    Also through Amazon Prime Video.  An angel is sent from Heaven to help a desperately frustrated businessman by showing him what life would have been like if he had never existed.

    The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (2005) on IMDB

    Also on Amazon Prime Video.  Four kids travel through a wardrobe to the land of Narnia and learn of their destiny to free it with the guidance of a mystical lion.

  • Music & Art

    Advent, Spotify Playlist by The Rev. Claire Brown

    Fifteen songs, for a total of 52 min 39 sec, including The Bengsons, Sean Colvin, Ben Harper, Sufjan Stevens, and more.  NOT Christmas songs, but Advent music for preparing for Christmas.

    Advent 2020: Hope, Love, Joy, and Peace, Spotify Playlist by Elizabeth Burns

    As of Dec 7 the playlist included 24 songs for a total of 1 hour and 30 minutes, with intentions of growing from recommendations throughout the Signal Mountain community and beyond.  Includes songs from Grateful Dead, Mumford and Sons, Dolly Pardon, and more.

    Advent Paintings and Poems: Gathering, Bearing, Wrestling, Praying, by Vikki Myers and Claire Keene

    Vikki Myers and Claire Keene pair art and poetry evocative of the struggles and graces of waiting as new life emerges.  Useful for personal or congregational times of quiet meditation through the weeks of waiting for the Coming One. These gifted ministers in our presence in East Tennessee have granted permission for you to print your own copies using this PDF.  They originally printed them as cards and shared with friends and family.

    Brother Andrew Aelred Morehead recommends the following musical selections because they match those of Advent or have a spareness that matches the tone of the season


    Kerygma Hallelujah: The Bible and Handel’s Messiah Bible Study

    10 Sessions, or 4 Advent & 6 Lent.  A study for both the music lover and the biblical seeker, it explores the scriptural texts of Handel’s Messiah. This study offers careful examination of the texts and opens doors to your community in a new way. With four sessions on the Advent texts and six sessions on the Lenten texts, it may be offered as two seasonal courses or as one ten-week course.  A recording of Messiah is recommended for class use: Kerygma offers the 2-CD Chicago Symphony version.

    Through the Advent Door: Entering a Contemplative Christmas, by Jan Richardson

    Through the Advent Door reveals the hidden pathways into the holidays we have always longed for, guiding us into a realm that shimmers with mystery and imagination. Like an Advent calendar, each day opens a new door, offering rich treasures that beckon us deep into this sacred season. Author and artist Jan Richardson accompanies us with images and reflections that are imbued with ancient stories, practices, and traditions.

    Waiting With Expectation and Hope: Advent 2020 – Spotify Playlist

    Music for the liturgical season of Advent as we wait with expectation and hope for the coming of Christ, selected by Lifelong Learning at Virginia Theological Seminary ( Not Christmas songs! 39 songs, 2 hr 22 min

Advent Godly Play

Kathleen Crevasse, Director of Christian Formation, leads us through an Advent Godly Play set, letting us explore and wander our way to Bethlehem. This is a great resource for adults and children alike.


Brief videos from members of the diocesan staff and Christian Formation Task Force, recommending one of the many resources available.

Bishop Brian

Caroline Vogel

Michele Simmons

Beverly Hurley Hill

Claire Keene

Claire Brown

Kathleen Crevasse

More Resources?

If you have a favorite Advent resource that you would like to share with all of the good people of the Episcopal Church in East Tennessee, especially online opportunities to engage and connect with others, please contact Brother Andrew Aelred Morehead at or Canon Beverly Hurley Hill at

If you have general questions about the events and resources, you can contact a member of the Christian Formation Task Force:

Ms Kathleen Crevasse                Mr Sean McEwen

Mr Jody Davis              Brother Andrew Aelred Morehead

Canon Beverly Hurley Hill           The Rev Michele Simmons

The Rev Claire Keene                The Rev Caroline Vogel

For specific details, please contact the source of the event or resource.