What does the season of Advent mean to God’s Church and its people? How does it relate to Christmas? Is Advent a source of comfort? Of anxiety? How could it be the beginning of the liturgical year? ACP member publications  and affiliates offer a rich table of thoughts, prayers and resources for our pre-Christmas life together.

From Anglican Journal:
Advent— a time for sober reflection. Or, for joyous celebration. A time when the church commemorates the role of women in the gospel story. Or, virtually ignores women, spending much more time with an Old Testament prophet and a strange desert visionary than with the “mother of God.”
Read Full story: http://www.anglicanjournal.com/articles/do-we-ignore-the-women-at-the-centre-of-advent

From Bold Café:
During this time, I reflect on the assurance that Christ has already come and died and risen so that we may have eternal life. This is often a time where I ask myself how I can put my faith in Jesus into action.
Read Full story: http://www.boldcafe.org/blog/sharing-gifts-advent

From The Presbyterian Outlook:
As we turn toward Thanksgiving and Christmas, there are cultural rituals that we enact. White lights line roofs and store windows. Children send letters to Santa with their Christmas wishes named. Radio stations put holiday songs on repeat.
Read Full story: https://pres-outlook.org/2016/11/advent-stirs-deep-longings/

From The UCObserver:
Advent is the time to get ready, even though we’re not exactly sure what’s out there in the dark. We hope that there will be angels, a baby and light, but first we must navigate the long nights along the path to Christmas.
Read Full story: http://www.ucobserver.org/pogue_blog/2016/11/advent/

From Connecticut Conference, UCC:
The other day I participated in a worship service with a liturgy that mentioned The Judgment. You know: the moment at the end of time when we each stand before God and are called to account for our actions (and inaction) throughout our lives. It’s an ancient concept that pre-dates Jesus, and one his followers brought forward into the Christian tradition.
Read Full story: http://www.ctucc.org/spiritcalendardetail/judgement-and-grace-6755117

From National Catholic Register:
The Gospel today is a shocker: Jesus is warning about the end of time. But his warning could very well be about our own time. After all, St. Faustina heard Jesus tell her these words, early in the 20th century: “You will prepare the world for my final coming.”
Read Full story: http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/this-advent-prepare-yourself-and-your-family-and-our-nation

From Patheos:
A few days ago, before I left for work, I opened my bottle of anxiety medication and took one. It was the first time I’d needed my prescription in a long while, but I was nearly paralyzed. I felt picked on. Beaten down. And exhausted from the simmer of anxiety of the past several days.
Read Full story: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/graceismessy/2016/11/28/what-ive-learned-from-anxiety-and-advent/

From Irreverin Blog:
I spend a lot of my time and energy anticipating future needs. Mine, and those of other people.
Read Full story: http://ow.ly/73xg306Ct9U

From Rosalind Hughes:
When we have finished the act of Baptism with water, and sealed the baptized with the sign of the cross, it is our tradition to hand them a lighted candle, saying,
Read Full story: https://rosalindhughes.com/2016/11/27/advent-light/

From Episcopal Café:
Simplicity in Advent is a real challenge in our society. We are better at glamor than beauty. This image reminds me that God swings the other way.
Read Full story: http://www.episcopalcafe.com/longing-and-simplicity/

From Christina Fox:
Over the years, our family has celebrated Advent using a variety of resources, depending on our children’s age and development. We have used Advent calendars, the kind with 25 little wooden doors. Inside each door I would hide a treat, a passage of Scripture to read, and an object that represented what we would do that day.
Read Full story:  http://www.christinafox.com/blog/2016/11/4/favorite-advent-resources-for-families

From Anglican Communion News Service:
[ACNS, by Gavin Drake] The stories of Christians from Mozambique and Angola who have “been quietly getting on with building and being the church” will be published over the next four weeks as part of an Advent campaign by Manna – the Mozambique and Angola Mission Association.
Read Full story: http://www.anglicannews.org/news/2016/11/advent-focus-on-christians-of-mozambique-and-angola.aspx

From Episcopal Digital Network:
The hippopotamus is an awfully deadly animal. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica hippos are the sixth most deadly mammal to humans on the planet. Hippos follow elephants, horses, deer, tigers, and of course, other humans as the most dangerous mammals to human beings.
Read Full story: http://episcopaldigitalnetwork.com/stw/2016/11/02/be-awake-and-ready-advent-1a/

From Christian Today:
The continuing carnage in the Middle East and consequent refugee crisis. The deep divisions in British and American society revealed by the Brexit referendum and the Presidential election. The horrific events which seemed to come week after week – be it the murder of British MP Jo Cox, or the worst ever mass shooting on American soil in Orlando.
Read Full story: http://ow.ly/5KiP306CsOL

From Catholic Online:
Vatican City, Italy (CNA/EWTN News) – Advent is an invitation “to sobriety, to not be dominated by the things of this world, to material reality, but rather to govern them,” Pope Francis said Nov. 27 in St. Peter’s Square. “If, on the contrary, we are conditioned and overpowered by them, it is not possible to perceive that which is much more important. That, that encounter.”
Read Full story: http://www.catholic.org/news/hf/faith/story.php?id=72199

From Catholic News Agency:
Vatican City, Nov 27, 2016 / 08:33 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The season of Advent is a reminder to us to open our horizons and have concern for more than just material things, the Pope said Sunday during his Angelus address.
Read Full story: http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/papal-advent-advice-dont-be-dominated-by-material-things-60211/

From Crux Now:
ROME – As a towering spruce tree was erected in St. Peter’s Square, the Vatican released Pope Francis’s liturgy schedule for Advent, Christmas and the month of January.
Read Full story: https://cruxnow.com/cns/2016/11/28/vatican-christmas-tree-goes-popes-holiday-schedule-released/

From Catholic Herald:
Pope Francis has said Advent is an invitation to “sobriety, to not be dominated by the things of this world”.
Read Full story: http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/news/2016/11/28/do-not-be-dominated-by-material-things-pope-tells-faithful-at-start-of-advent/

From New Liturgical Movement:
Pontifex University is now offering a free short course, An Advent and Christmas Seasonal Meditation as a promotion for its new Masters in Sacred Arts. It is a meditation in art and scripture for these seasons through to Epiphany, taught by Fr Sebastian Carnazzo and myself, using a method that we have developed for the scripture classes in the MSA program.
Read Full story:  http://www.newliturgicalmovement.org/2016/11/advent-and-christmas-medition-on-art.html

From The Remnant:
It would seem that few Catholics today realize the true meaning of Advent and Christmas. Surely a major reason is because over the years they have been receiving less and less nourishment from the Liturgy. Long before Vatican II, at least in Anglo-Saxon countries, too many of the clergy did not nourish their own souls from the tests of their daily Mass and Office, and so were unable to explain them to the people.
Read Full story: http://remnantnewspaper.com/web/index.php/articles/item/2903-first-sunday-of-advent-what-does-it-mean