The NC Conference Media Center offers planning resources, studies, devotionals, and more to help create a meaningful Advent season for 2022.
Amplify, the United Methodist video streaming service, hosted a webinar titled Prepare for the Celebration of Advent. You can watch the recording online. The webinar features Adam Hamilton and Susan Robb, authors of two new Advent studies for United Methodists.
Amplify’s Advent webinar from last year was also archived and can be watched online for free. Sharing the Christmas Story, Sharing Our Faith featured Adam Hamilton, Matt Rawle, and Laceye Warner discussing their three Advent studies that were published in 2021.
ClergyEducation.com, a service of United Methodist publisher Market Square Books, is offering a webinar, Planning Ahead to Preach During Advent: Offering Hope on November 3rd, 2022 at 11:00 am. During this session, Olu Brown, pastor of Impact Church, one of the fastest-growing churches in the country, will share his advice on preparing to preach during Advent. Using his book Hope: An Advent Journey as a reference, Brown will take participants through the Advent season, offering suggestions on making plans as you prepare for Advent and Christmas 2022.
Discipleship Ministries is offering a free Advent worship series that can be downloaded and used in your church. An Advent Song of Ascents uses the Isaiah texts along with Psalms.
Cokesbury’s Advent Study Comparison Chart
Cokesbury has posted an Advent study comparison chart to help you decide which Advent study to use with your church or small group this year. We have even more Advent studies available at the Media Center, so keep reading to find out about additional options.
Advent Studies for Adults
New for 2022
Adam Hamilton explores the Advent themes of John’s life and ministry, and how John calls all followers of Jesus to prepare our hearts for his coming. In each of the Gospels, the story of Jesus is intertwined with that of his cousin John, the one whom the prophets foretold would come to “prepare the way of the Lord.” When we hear the message of John the Baptist, it makes us and our world ready to receive Christ. This study includes a DVD, Leader Guide, and Book. You can also purchase the Sermon and Worship Series Download or the Worship and Media Download from Cokesbury. Watch a promo video.
Explore the four angelic visits surrounding the birth of Jesus with Zechariah, Mary, Joseph, and the shepherds. The study uses these four angelic appearances to discuss God’s presence in history and our lives today. The messages of the angels hold meaning for listeners both then and now. This study includes a DVD, Leader Guide, and Book. Watch a promo video.
Fully Human, Fully Divine: An Advent Devotional for the Whole Self
By Whitney R. Simpson
Embrace the experience of the Advent season fully, with our whole selves, and remember that Jesus showed us what it meant to be both fully human and fully divine. Each chapter covers one week of Advent and within each week are a rotation of daily practices including breath prayer, mindful movement, lectio divina, visio divina (which utilizes beautiful, colorful works of art each week), Christian meditation, creative contemplation, and practicing presence. The book also includes suggestions for small groups and small-group leaders, and advice on creating safe sacred space for small groups. This study only uses a book.
Trusted scholar and community organizer Kelley Nikondeha takes us back, to where the landscape of Palestine is once again the geographic, socioeconomic, and political backdrop for the Advent story. Reading the Advent narratives of Luke and Matthew anew, in their original context, changes so much about how we see the true story of resistance, abusive rulers and systems of oppression, and God coming to earth. Throughout her explorations, Nikondeha features the stories of modern-day Palestinians, centering their voices to help us meet an Advent recognizable for today. This study uses a book and a free, downloadable discussion guide.
More Advent DVD Studies for Adults
All the Good: A Wesleyan Way of Christmas by Laceye C. Warner, Amy Valdez Barker, Jung Choi, Sangwoo Kim, Barker, Amy Valdez. A group of diverse Wesleyan scholars will take you on an Advent journey guided by the practices in John Wesley’s means of grace. In four sessions of study, prayer, and conversation, readers will look at preparing the way for God, the discipline of prayer, the substance of good works, and the recognition of God’s presence with us in communities that are called to serve the world.
The Heart That Grew Three Sizes: Finding Faith in the Story of the Grinch by Matt Rawle. Explores the faith themes in the Christmas classic, How the Grinch Stole Christmas! including, how did the Grinch’s heart grow three sizes come Christmas morning? How did Christmas save the Grinch? Could it be that the very thing we think we hate is the one thing that changes our lives? Look at a familiar classic through the lens of faith and see how Christ speaks to us through our culture.
Incarnation: Rediscovering the Significance of Christmas by Adam Hamilton. Rev. Hamilton examines the names of Christ used by the gospel writers, exploring the historical and personal significance of his birth. In the face of uncertainty and conflict, Christians reclaim the Christ child who brings us together, heals our hearts, and calls us to bring light into the darkness.
Almost Christmas: A Wesleyan Advent Experience by Magrey R. DeVega, Ingrid McIntyre, April Casperson, Matt Rawle. In John Wesley’s famous sermon, “The Almost Christian,” he encouraged people to follow Christ wholeheartedly. Pastor deVega leads a group of authors in exploring how we can make the same commitment to Christ during Advent, and connect our Wesleyan heritage with the traditional Advent themes of Love, Hope, Joy, and Peace.
From Heaven to Earth: Christmas For New Believers, Old Believers, and Nonbelievers by Wil Cantrell & Paul Seay. Pastors Cantrell and Seay provide an engaging guide in which readers will experience an in-depth look into what we know about the world of Mary and Joseph from the Biblical record and other historical documents as well as a challenge to consider the difference Jesus’ birth makes for our lives today.
Light of the World: A Beginner’s Guide to Advent by Amy-Jill Levine. Author, professor, and biblical scholar Levine shows how the Gospel narratives connect to the Old Testament; highlights the role of women in first-century Jewish culture; and emphasizes the importance of Mary’s visitation, the census, the stable, the star of Bethlehem, and the flight to Egypt.
Complete List of Advent Studies
We have 36 DVD-based studies and 15 additional Christmas movies listed in our Advent and Christmas DVDs for Adults pathfinder. We also have 31 book-based studies plus 29 devotionals, program ideas, and additional books listed in our Advent and Christmas Books for Adults pathfinders.
More Books for Advent
God Broke Through at Christmas: A Daily Advent Study for Individuals and Groups by Debra Wallace-Padgett. This study focuses on four different aspects of life transformed by Jesus Christ’s birth, ministry, death, and resurrection: Silence, Nights of the soul, Seemingly impossible situations, and Chaos. Each chapter begins with a meditation and study session guide, followed by daily devotionals for the week.
Making Room: Sharing the Love of Christmas by Ed Robb. This four-week study explores the warmth of welcome at Christmas following interactions with the Holy Family, the shepherds, and the magi. The story of Christ’s birth encourages us to widen our borders and increase our sense of community—and make room for others. This study also has a Leader Guide.
The Living Nativity: Preparing for Christmas with Saint Francis by Larry J. Peacock. This book introduces readers to Saint Francis and explores how nativity sets, Advent wreaths, candles, carols, Christmas cards, and other traditions help prepare our hearts for the God “who bends low to enter our world and our lives.” Prayer poems for each day of the season lead readers to deepen their spiritual journey, and the book provides a guided pattern for individuals and small groups to share reflections and experience activities that open their hearts to the Christ child. The Upper Room offers an eCourse based on this book.
Imagining a New World: An Advent Devotional by Terri Hord Owens. Pause from the whirlwind of the holidays to imagine God’s vision for a new world in Christ’s coming. Inspired by the “peaceable kingdom” scripture from Isaiah 11, these daily, five-minute devotions include scripture, reflections, and a prayer.
Blue Christmas: Devotions of Light in a Season of Darkness by Todd Outcalt. Blue Christmas reminds us that all of our Christmases, even the darkest ones, can be filled with honesty and hope if we are first willing to sit in silence and bring our deepest fears to God. The book includes daily devotions, additional prayers, a “Blue Christmas” worship service, and reflection questions. The Upper Room offers an eCourse based on this book.
Unto Us a Child is Born: Isaiah, Advent, and Our Jewish Neighbors by Tyler D. Mayfield. Integrating biblical scholarship with pastoral concern, Tyler Mayfield invites readers to view Isaiah through two lenses. He demonstrates using near vision to see how the Christian liturgical season of Advent shapes readings of Isaiah and using far vision to clarify our relationship to Jews and Judaism—showing along the way how near vision and far vision are both required to read Isaiah clearly and responsibly.
Complete List of Advent Books
View our complete list of book-based Advent studies, devotionals, activity books, liturgies, prayers, and more in our Advent and Christmas Books for Adults pathfinder.
Advent for Youth and Children
Many of our Advent studies for adults also offer separate guides to use these studies with youth and children. Here are some additional resources to help families celebrate the Advent season this year.
Fathom: The Coming of Jesus, The Birth of a Savior by Charlie Baber. This bible study for youth, written by NC Conference Pastor Baber, is a journey through some of the key Old Testament scriptures that shape our beliefs about the specific events leading to the birth of Jesus. A leader’s guide is also available.
Faithful Families for Advent and Christmas: 100 Ways to Make the Season Sacred by Traci Smith. In this new book of faith practices for Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany, parents, grandparents, Sunday School teachers, pastors, and anyone who cares about kids will find 100 easy, fun, and meaningful ideas for bringing the sacred back into the season.
Advent A to Z: Prayerful and Playful Preparations for Families by Sharon Harding and John Indermark. Beginning December 1 and running through December 26, each day will explore an Advent-related word that begins with a successive letter in the alphabet. This is followed by suggestions for simple, easy-to-prepare, and complete activities (discussion starters, games, crafts, meditations, journaling, outreach project, devotions).
Children’s Dramas for the Church Year: Reproducible Dramas for Advent and Christmas. You’re only asking for four things when it comes to an Advent or Christmas program for your children’s ministry. It needs to be 10 minutes or less, incorporate all age groups, work for the size of your church, and be super easy to produce. This is the resource that will get you from rehearsals to curtain calls stress-free.
Christmas Extras: Faith-Filled Ideas for Celebrating Christmas. Share an Advent/Christmas season that’s bursting with lots of praise, devotions, Bible stories, snacks, crafts, and experiences that jingle with joy for Jesus’ birth. Each brief activity is rooted in faith and wrapped in fun, revealing more and more about God’s powerful love and grace for all of us.
Complete List of Youth & Children’s Resources
View the Advent and Christmas Resources for Youth pathfinder to see a complete list of our Advent studies and program resources for youth.
View the Advent and Christmas Resources for Children pathfinder to view a complete list of our Advent studies, family-friendly movies, picture books, and program resources for children.
Request These Resources
These resources can be borrowed for free by anyone involved with a United Methodist Church in the North Carolina Conference. We will mail them to your home! All you need to do is fill out the Resource Request Form.