Advent and Christmas resources
We invite your household or small group to explore the events of the Christmas story through five interactive stations across the four weeks of Advent. Each station has a theme, Bible passage, questions to chat about, activity ideas for different ages including adults, and prayer ideas that use locations and items from around the home. This is a great opportunity to grow faith at home for people of all ages, particularly families with children under 12. We hope this resource equips your family to play, talk and pray together so that you may grow in faith, especially as you celebrate the birth of Jesus, God’s great gift.
This information letter of for church leaders and explains the various ways a church can use the Christmas Family Faith Trail resource to bless and encourage families and small groups to grown in faith formation at home.
The following links were shared in the SA & NT Children & Families Ministry Update – November. This monthly email is sent by Chris Barnett, Children & Families, Centre for Theology and Ministry, Uniting Church Synod of Victoria and Tasmania. To join the mailing list, email email@example.com
- Busted Halo Resources
- Advent Liturgy (UMC)
- Advent Ideas (Barnabas)
- Advent Ideas (Faith in Homes)
- Pinterest Advent & Christmas Ideas (Mary Hawes)
- Advent & Christmas resources This new book put together and published by Centre for Music Liturgy and the Arts includes resources for Advent, Christmas, Epiphany and New Year’s.
- Messy Christmas by Lucy Moore and Jane Leadbetter - Three complete sessions and a treasure trove of good resources for Advent, Christmas and Epiphany which can be used for ‘non-Messy Church’ including crafts, activities, prayers and games that helps 21st century families own the eternal messages of Christmas for themselves.
- Bethlehem Town by Andrew McDonough (Lost Sheep series) “We used this book at Messy Church one year for the celebration time – we were also privileged to have Andrew with us to tell the story. We had lots of big cardboard boxes and encouraged everyone to get into small groups and build a ‘house/stable’ which could house people, animals, baby, etc. It was great fun, interactive, and we were also able to bring in that different countries, and different people often have different houses because although the ‘brief’ for the building was the same, all the houses were totally different. As with all of Andrew’s books there are lots of free resources as well as further resources when having a Church membership – highly recommended.”
- Advent Reflections and Sermon series idea (suggestion from Westbourne Park UC) “In relation to Advent, last year our church gathered reflections from different members of all four worshipping services (this includes Messy Church) and all different ages including families. The reflections were relevant to the words of Hope, Peace, Joy and Love and how it related to the overall theme of Experience Life in all its Fullness. The reflections for the Sundays were written by the preacher for the day to add to their ‘sermon’. These reflections were printed in a booklet, one for each word (four booklets) with a reflection for every day of Advent. The reflection was also then e-mailed to everyone each day.”
- The Star: The story of the first Christmas is an animated Christmas movie in cinemas from November 30. The Corner Uniting Church have suggested churches might like to take their kids club or Messy Church families to see the movie together, perhaps instead of buying end-of-year gifts for children.
- Operation Santa Any time before Christmas 2017 OR next year’s state launch event on 9 November 2018 Keep in mind for your youth group to come along and join in the fun of Operation Santa. Representatives from youth groups fundraise donations to buy presents for teens at the launch of the Target and UnitingCare Christmas Appeal. This helps get some age-appropriate gifts ready for young people accessing services this Christmas. Of course, your group can hold their own Operation Santa any time before Christmas 2017. Youth groups can still collect donations, visit their local Target store and purchase gifts for the Appeal!
- Lost Sheep Christmas favourites…
--Jed and Roy McCoy
--Tonight in the Palace
--The Three Wise Camels
- 'The Very Good News of Christmas' – a free book for families The Bible Society is offering a free book that shares the Christmas story with bright illustrations that is particularly for children aged 5 – 7 years old but suitable for all ages (see a sample on the website). Individuals can order up to three free copies per Australian household. Churches are invited to order as many copies as they need. When churches order the books, they’ll also receive links to:
--The ‘Instant Nativity’ – a complete, downloadable Nativity play & resource pack. It contains everything they’ll need to put on a fun, gospel-centred Christmas event.
--The Really Good News animated video that churches and youth groups can use to promote a Christmas event. It’s also suitable for use during a Christmas service.
To order: Churches can follow the prompts at www.biblesociety.org.au/goodnews Individuals can order up to three (3) copies by using www.biblesociety.org.au/reallygood Christmas Resources for churches to purchase (nominal cost) and give away to families
- The following links were shared in the SA & NT Children & Families Ministry Update – November. This monthly email is sent by Chris Barnett, Children & Families, Centre for Theology and Ministry, Uniting Church Synod of Victoria and Tasmania. To join the mailing list, email firstname.lastname@example.org
--Kidzone Christmas (Salvation Army) for primary school age children.
--Christmas Book Set (Salvation Army) for preschoolers.
--Christmas at Home (NSW/ACT Baptist) A family resource to create faith shaping times together at home in the weeks leading up to Christmas.
--Christmas Family Time (Messy Church) for families to use over the Christmas holiday period.
--Christmas Countdown (mainly music) for preschoolers.
--ADVENTure Family Devotions (Ali Campbell) 26 devotions for families reflecting on key scripture passages for the advent season (free).
Wise man on camel (84 kb PDF)
Sequined Christmas Craft (48 kb PDF)
Christmas Tree Ornament (92 kb PDF)
Childrens Peace Page child&Fam (987 kb PDF)
Christmas Jesus and Santa (111 kb PDF)
Coloured Christmas candle (58 kb PDF)
Christmas community connection (176 kb PDF)
Christmas decoration (80 kb PDF)
Fabric Christmas figures for Godly Play (380 kb PDF)
Luke 2 22–40 Anna and Simeon Advent (194 kb PDF) - A long-awaited gift
John 18 33–37 What sort of King (312 kb PDF)
Luke 21-20 Night Sky Bethlehem Christmas Craft (126 kb PDF) - Shepherds’ Story/Angels’ Song
Christmas Graphics (263 kb PDF)
Christmas peace resources (283 kb PDF)
Nativity finger puppets Christmas Craft (175 kb PDF)
Starry Advent Calendar (240 kb PDF)
Advent Promise calendar (98 kb PDF)
Advent Take-Home Ideas (58 kb PDF) - Take Home ideas: a Christmas activity booklet and a Take-home bag to have in the church for children visiting during Advent
Christmas Activity Page 2 (225 kb PDF)
Christmas Activity Page 1 (152 kb PDF)
Advent Worship Space (85 kb PDF)
Advent with Arnie puppet script (128 kb PDF)
Advent Year C Lectionary connections (89 kb PDF)
Advent Silhouettes (235 kb PDF)
Advent Year B Lectionary connections (152 kb PDF)
Christmas AlterNativity (484 kb PDF)
Advent Wreath Liturgy (316 kb PDF)