Generous Advent

Generous God, Generous Advent

Christmas is coming and Advent lights the way. Seasons of hope and promise, of love and joy and gift-giving. Seasons to celebrate the overflowing generosity of God who so loved the world that he gave his only Son (John 3:16).

And as we celebrate God's generosity the Gospel invites us to to live and give generously.

But let's be real. This winter will be tough for many and tough for our churches. Hw can we celebrate generosity in times of scarcity? People of faith have been here before: manna in the desert; abundant wine for wedding guests; bread and fish for a hungry crowd; a widow's mite speaking of deep faith and prophetic challenge to injustice. As St Paul says, we are give from what we have, not what we don't have (2 Cor 8:12).

Generous God, Generous Advent is a creative opportunity to do two things:

  1. To celebrate the generosity of our God using the fabulous and flexible Generosity Week resources, all freely available and adaptable
  2. To invite generous giving, as people are able, to sustain and grow the mission of ministry of our churches: "my gift to my church for our future"

Generosity Week this Advent

Generous Advent draws on the comprehensive Generosity Week resources. Advent is a busy time so busy time so keep it simple. 

  • First, your Sunday focus. Provision is made for two Sundays with orders of service for both Holy Communion and a Service of the Word. The first Sunday explores Generosity, the second Gratitude. You could host Generous Advent on the Sunday before Advent ("Stir-Up Sunday") and Advent Sunday or on Advent One and Two. Maybe just one Sunday works best for you. We've adapted the collects for the Advent season.
  • Second, dig deep into our all new Advent Prayer Stations created with the diocese of York. Interactive, great for kids, adults and family groups they help look at generosity through a seasonal lens. Use them creatively: a focus for Advent prayer, in all age worship, school visits or services, prayerful reflection on a Generous Advent Gift Day. And don't miss the all age Jesse Tree activity in the Prayer stations pack.
    • And do check out our new all age Jesse Tree activity 
  • Third, midweek? There is Generosity Week provision provision for Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer and Compline. Maybe offer something extra midweek to enhance Generous Advent, in person or online. Check out the one minute generosity reflections or the short generosity podcasts or the short themed videos from York diocese. And if there is space in the calendar, what about a Generosity Fika? That's Swedish for coffee, cake and conversation. See the brief video guidance and the rich video resources to kick start easy conversations about the serious business of generosity. 

There's more, of course. You could celebrate the rich legacy of your church building, beautifully dressed for Advent and Christmas or explore the children and young people resources. 

A Generous Advent Gift Day

Generous Advent may be an opportunity for those who are able to make a gift to their church: "my gift to my church for our future". Of course, money worry is very real for many and it's real for our churches. Echoing St Paul's words above, a Generous Advent Gift Day invites those who are able to make a gift or review their giving, in gratitude for God's generous gift and the ministry of our church. It's an opportunity for people to make a gift from what they have, not what they don't have. 

The Resources team can help you plan your Generos Advent gift day and can assist with attractive leaflets, invitation letters, social media assets and more

Go digital this Advent

Advent and Christmas will see many visitors in our churches. People enjoy carols by candlelight, crib and Christingle services, Christmas tree festivals and more and they value their church. So go digital this Christmas. Help your visitors help you with easy ways to give. Over a third of churches ave a contactless giving unit; more again can receive online gifts.

Follow the Star

Last, but by no means least, check out the comprehensive resources at Follow the Star. This is the Church of England's annual advent and Christmas campaign and it has huge reach. The 2021 Christmas content was seen 27 million times on social media with 1.2 million views of online services. So make these brilliant resources work for you as you share the good news of God's abundant generosity with your congregation and community. 


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