Mennonites “do” Advent

Ideas for the season of Advent

December 19, 2013 | Web First
Compiled by Ginny Hostetler | Web editor

Traditionally Mennonite worship did not acknowledge the nuances of the church year. Today more congregations and individuals are seeing the seasons of the church calendar as a time to reflect and cultivate spiritual disciplines. A few samples:

An Anabaptist does Advent
Michael Pahl, the pastor of Morden Mennonite Church, in Morden, Man., shares thoughts on why Advent is important to him as an Anabaptist

Buy Nothing Christmas
Over ten years ago, a group of Canadian Mennonites started this national initiative to speak against the patterns of over-consumption of middle-class North Americans. They invite Christians (and others) to join a movement to de-commercialize Christmas and choose simple celebrations that are more people-oriented. Their website offers ideas of how to observe this kind of Christmas.

Christmas Love
The authors of the popular cookbook, Mennonite Girls Can Cook, offer an Advent prayer based on I Corinthians 13, along with tantalizing recipes and photos.

Gifts of Grace
Four-year-old girl Grace Rea was inspired to give gifts and handmade cards to the people of the Siloam Mission in Winnipeg, Man. Through a video on Facebook she invites others to join her in this effort.

Lectionary worship index
Christine Longhurst has studied, taught and worked in worship for more than 25 years. She is currently an instructor in worship music at Canadian Mennonite University, Winnipeg, Man. Her blog, Re: Worship, has an extensive listing of resources for worship for seasons of the church year, including Advent.

Maasai Christmas
Corinna Clymer Olson and her husband Doug serve with Mennonite Central Committee in Kenya. Her blog post, “Maasai Christmas” connects their experience among the Maasai people to the Christmas story.

Playmobile Advent
Will Loewen is the pastor of Trinity Mennonite Church in Calgary, Alta., and blogs at He and his family are adding Playmobile parts to a nativity scene each day of Advent and offering Scripture passages and reflections on the season. 

Plays, monologues and readings
The Mennonite Church Canada Resource Centre offers downloadable resources such as devotionals, plays and readings around the Advent and Christmas themes. 

Mennonite pastor Carol Penner is a prolific blogger and writer of worship resources. In her blog, Leading in Worship: Worship Resources in a Mennonite Voice for Ears of All Kinds, she offers prayers and poetry for the Advent season.

Blogger Kathleen Quiring didn’t experience the Advent season as she was growing up in the Old Colony Mennonite Church. But now she is watching for it. Go to her blog, Becoming Peculiar, to see her post, “Observing Advent (Literally): Notes from a Watchful Mennonite.”

--Posted Dec. 19, 2013

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