Generous Advent

Dark lighted background with Christmas lights and the words Generous God, Generous Advent overlayedGenerous God, Generous Advent

Christmas is coming and Advent lights the way. Seasons of hope and promise, of love, 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; but not for all. The impact of a cost of living crisis falls unevenly. It will also be tough for our churches. Can we celebrate generosity in times of scarcity? People of faith have been here before: manna in the desert; wine for wedding guests; bread for a hungry crowd; a widow's mite speaking of deep faith and prophetic challenge to injustice. St Paul calls it right: 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 adaptable and freely available resources
  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 simple is good. 

  • First: Sunday. There are orders of service (Eucharist and Service of the Word) for two Sundays in MS Word format so you can edit readings, place hymns and worship songs, the Lighting of the Advent Candle, collects etc. You could host Generous Advent on the Sunday before Advent (we have a flexible new Stir-Up Sunday activity) and Advent Sunday or perhaps on Advent One and Two. Or maybe just one Sunday works best for you?
  • 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.
    • Don't miss the flexible all age Jesse Tree activity for a Saturday morning or Sunday School activity
  • Third: midweek. Maybe offer something extra to enhance Generous Advent, in person or online.There is Generosity Week provision provision for Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer and Compline. Check out the generosity podcasts and/or the accompanying one minute reflections or the short videos from York diocese. Maybe introduce a festive Generosity Fika - that's Swedish for coffee, cake and conversation! There's video guidance and helpful video resources to kick start a relaxed conversation about the serious business of generosity. Or for guidance on how to Celebrate Your Legacy in a church building dressed for Christmas or to explore the non-seasonal Generosity and Young People resources just click here

For an overview of all these resources and to find out more about Digital Giving this Christmas why not join our ResourcesTeam webinar on the 9th November? 

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". Echoing St Paul's words above, a Generous Advent Gift Day invites those who can to make a one off gift or to review their regular giving. We do this in gratitude for God's generous love and for the ministry of our church. It's an opportunity for us to give from what we have, not what we don't have. 

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

Go digital this Christmas

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

  • Check out the National Giving team Christmas newsletter and new Generous Christmas web page
  • Add your own QR code for your giving page to one of these posters for Giving at Christmas 
  • Give your contactless unit a festive makeover: run through a Christmas Contactless Checklist
  • Remember: you can now make one off gifts to your church through the Parish Giving Scheme. It's simple and safe; for PGS account holders and for guests. Talk to Cath Gaskell for more details
  • And if your church has not gone digital email Lucia now for advice and hands-on support. 

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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