Advent Unwrapped is a collaborative project that will continue to expand to represent the diversity of The United Church of Canada and the intercultural church that we are—and are becoming.

The project was inspired by requests from congregations and ministries to provide new and alternative Advent devotional materials that reflect The United Church of Canada’s theology and ethos. A small group of General Council Office staff prayerfully worked on what such a resource might look like and how it might be developed. They decided on creating a new web-based resource that would

  • model creative, intercultural, and interactive ways to live out our faith
  • help people better articulate the work of the church
  • encourage spiritual formation for people of all ages
  • provide worship and spiritual formation resources that can be easily adapted for different settings (e.g., congregations, community ministries, house churches, intentional communities, family devotions, and other ministries)
  • unpack the Christmas story and provide an alternative to the “consumerist season”

The group then consulted with a diverse group of United Church folk who urged the creation of a resource that focused on

  • learning and retelling the Christian stories of Advent and Christmas in a way that would be image-rich, engaging, and biblically grounded
  • reflecting and engaging with the stories and themes of Advent in a way that would be countercultural and transformative
  • providing ways for people of all ages to act on these reflections through spiritual practices and social engagements

This year, the focus is on learning and retelling the stories and themes of Advent through our daily blogs (Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love), and Stories Unwrapped. Next Advent, the focus will be on spiritual practices and social engagement.

If you have ideas or stories that you would like to share, especially around spiritual practices, deepening intercultural awareness, and social engagement, please submit them here.

Alydia Smith
for the Advent Unwrapped Team