In Luke’s telling of the Christmas story, startled shepherds are the first to hear the “good news of great joy that will be for all the people.” Since then, through generations and generations, across the world, we keep sharing this good news, receiving signs from God that, in the coming of Jesus Christ, we have received the greatest gift of all.
The Episcopal Church wants to help you and your congregation share that good news with each other and your neighborhoods, especially this Advent and Christmas. Find our free resources based on invitation, the Way of Love, racial reconciliation, faith formation, and more below.
Journeying the Way of Love: Advent Curriculum
Journeying the Way of Love: Four-session Advent Curriculum
For the season of Advent, “Journeying the Way of Love” offers four sessions to be explored as we await the coming of Christ by moving through the first two chapters of the Gospel of Luke. Luke’s gospel provides a pattern for understanding how we can live the Way of Love as individuals, as families and friends, as a community, and out in the world. The sessions are specially designed for use during the Christian formation hour before or after worship. Facilitation instructions accommodate small or large groups. Available in English, Spanish, and French.
2023 Journeying the Way of Love: Advent Calendar (coming soon!)
To accompany the “Journeying the Way of Love” curriculum, use the Advent calendar, which offers daily suggestions for engaging in the seven practices that encompass the Way of Love: turn, learn, pray, worship, bless, go, and rest. The calendar can also be used as a standalone resource–keep it at your desk or on your fridge and refer to it every day! Available in English, Spanish, and French.
Journeying the Way of Love: Bulletin Inserts
Use bulletin inserts from Sermons That Work to help your congregation participate in the “Journeying the Way of Love” Advent calendar. We provide printable Word docs and PDFs in either full-page or half-page formats with suggested practices for each week of Advent. Available in English and Spanish and available by mid-October 2023.
Resources for Invitation and Gratitude
Advent and Christmas Digital Invitation Kit
Find digital and printable resources themed for Advent and Christmas here, to help promote special Advent and Christmas events or explain the season itself on social media, your website, or around town. Posters, fliers, postcards, and more are available in English, Spanish, and French.
Update Your Church’s Service Times
Add seasonal service times, descriptions, and languages to your church’s pin on the Episcopal Asset Map. You don’t need a log-in to suggest the change; just find your Episcopal place, click on it, and select “Suggest an Update.” Need help updating more? Check out our video playlist from Episcopal Relief & Development.
The 3rd Annual United Thank Offering Christmas Card
Printable Letter to Santa
If you’re looking for a way to help a child you love think about their Christmas list differently, then we’ve got a free printable for you! This one-page letter offers fill-in-the-blank areas. One way to show Santa how nice you’ve been this year is to tell him what you’re grateful for! Next, there are categories for gifts the child might like. (We love that it asks them to think about something to share…this can be a gift they donate or something they can share with a relative or neighbor.)
Resources for Racial Reconciliation
Preparing to Become Beloved Community
Organized around the four sections of the Becoming Beloved Community labyrinth (telling the truth, repairing the breach, practicing the way, proclaiming the dream), this Advent curriculum can help your small group or congregation to engage in racial reconciliation and reflect on Jesus’ coming among us. Available in English, Spanish, and French. Note: Advent 2023 occurs in Year B.
Prophetic Voices Podcast Series: Preaching and Teaching Beloved Community
Across our church and our society, we are having profound dialogues about race, truth, justice, and healing. “Prophetic Voices: Preaching and Teaching Beloved Community” explores where that dialogue intersects with our faith. Join us and our invited guests as we share prophetic voices and explore the lectionary through the lens of social justice. Available in English.
Resources for Faith Formation
Lesson Plans That Work
Designed to follow the Revised Common Lectionary, these lesson plans are written by experienced church school teachers using practical approaches to respond to the needs of volunteer teachers. Available in English.
These devotions are written by ministers, professors, students, teachers, missionaries, denominational leaders, and others who work with and care for students. Typically, an author writes on a single theme for one week. In these devotions, you will read honest struggles and questions, all in the context of real faith. As you read the thoughts of the writers, think about your own response to the Scripture for the day. Let the writer’s words serve as background for your own conversation with God. D365 will highlight the season of Advent with the theme, “Following the Star.” D365.org is a joint partnership of The Episcopal Church Office for Youth Ministries, Presbyterian Youth and Triennium Office and Ministries of the Presbyterian Church USA, and the Congregational Life Office of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. Available in English.
Advent Wreath Video
The Advent Wreath, a visual symbol marking the Advent season’s progress, originated as a domestic devotion opportunity for household prayer and is now often included in community worship spaces. While there are many different ways to make an Advent wreath, Jerusalem Greer from Good News Gardens created this video making a wreath using items found in creation. Gather with friends, family, a small group, or others to watch this video and build your own wreath. You can find more information here and an Advent wreath blessing appropriate for your congregation here. Available in English.
EMM’s Las Posadas
In the Christian liturgical year, Advent is a time of waiting and preparation for the birth of Jesus, a time of prayerful yearning for Emmanuel, “God with us.” To honor and mark this holy time, Episcopal Migration Ministries (EMM) offers Las Posadas, a church-wide Christmas pageant that invites us to experience the journey of the Holy family. Las Posadas, which means “The Inns,” is a traditional Advent/Christmas celebration in Latin America, particularly Mexico, and among many Mexican Americans. It dates back more than 400 years to Spain, when Catholic priests found they could best teach many of the Biblical stories by using drama. Las Posadas traditionally is celebrated for nine nights from December 16 through 24, culminating in the Christmas Eve worship service. It is designed to reenact the story of Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem and search for lodging. This adaptation of Las Posadas invites you to imagine the experiences of individuals currently seeking asylum or refugee status. How are we called to welcome our neighbors?” Available in English and Spanish.
Sermons for Advent and Christmas 2023
Sermons That Work is pleased to once again present a compilation of this year’s Advent and Christmas sermons from some of the best preachers in The Episcopal Church. Whether you use this book for private devotionals and inspiration, small group study, or reading from the pulpit, we pray that you will find this holy season brightened by the Everlasting Light. Available in English and Spanish.
From Our Partners
Forward Movement convenes another year of AdventWord, an inspirational online Advent calendar featuring a daily prompt word selected from the Sunday lectionary readings. Email subscribers and social media followers receive a daily meditation and visual image inspired by the day’s word, and are invited to share their own personal reflections, art, poetry, or other creative expression. Downloadable bulletin inserts are available for churches to encourage participation at home. Learn more at adventword.org.
Episcopal Relief & Development Advent Toolkit
Join Episcopal Relief & Development this Advent to create, learn and pray. Their Advent Toolkit includes DIY projects for families and communities that will take you from Advent to Christmas and through Epiphany.