Today marks the beginning of Advent when we look forward to Christ’s coming. It is a season of anxious waiting and a time to remember those who awaited the promised messiah for generations.

Advent is a time of longing and of expectation, and this year these feelings may hit a little closer to home as we all actively wait for a coronavirus vaccine and a greater sense of normalcy in our lives. Fittingly, the first candle lit is always the hope candle, and it certainly feels like we could use a little extra hope to light our way this Christmas season.

Even though this Advent season is a little different than what we are used to, we are offering multiple ways to keep the hope, peace, love, and joy front and center as we start this season. Please take part!

Advent Calendar

Advent calendars are not just for kids! Here’s a great Advent calendar for anyone looking to make their Advent season more meaningful and brighter for others.

Bruen Chapel Christmas Card List

Some members of our Bruen Chapel family may like to send Christmas cards but don’t have each other’s current addresses. If you’d like to join the Bruen Chapel Christmas Card List, please email your name and address to We’ll send out the master list to those who respond on December 15. 

Hope for the Holidays

You can send cards to children and families in immigration detention through Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service’s (LIRS) annual program. This special project truly brightens the holiday season for people who often feel despair and loneliness. Download the full toolkit for sending cards here, and please note the deadline of December 11th to allow LIRS to distribute the holiday greetings.

Nativity Scene Share

Just because we cannot enjoy our church nativity scene and decorations in person doesn’t mean we can’t do something new and creative! For some interactive fun, please snap a picture of your nativity scene/s at home and email it to share! Please email your photos to the church account ( with a note about whether you would like your name disclosed or have any related story about it that you would like to share.

These nativity scene photos will be used to decorate our church Facebook page and newsletter throughout the Christmas season. Thanks in advance for taking part in our collaborative decoration project!

Returning to Ancient Advent Practices

And lastly, in a time where a lot of us feel tired of relying on technology and all zoomed out, you may want your Advent to reflect a quieter, more contemplative spiritual practice of days gone by. Look no further than this special study called “Adventus: Ancient Practices for an Advent at Home” based on the 6th century practice of “divine reading” and prepared by the Western North Carolina conference.