Advent ideas for Family and Church

It’s that time of the year again.

The time of the year for lists, shopping lists, present lists, todo lists, and Advent idea lists.

So here is mine for 2021

I like my ideas to be free, preferably; downloadable if possible; and often child centred (well it is that season after all – we are awaiting a birth). No matter where you are in the world, I hope you and your community or family will benefit from preparing your hearts and home for Christmas.

Advent starts next Sunday.


Listen to this Advent album by Liturgical Folk

Downloadable from Word and Wonder The Songs of Christmas; Advent Worship Guide, and you can also download the Colouring in book to match


The Episcopal Church of Arkansas have produced this Lego Advent prayer countdown using this years Lego city Advent calendar. Even if you can’t buy or afford the lego kit you could make or find the type of person/vehicle etc mentioned in the prayer and use the prayers each day.

(I will be doing this as my personal Advent practice so follow the Facebook page and see what insights come out of it for me, I would love to hear yours)

Family Project (actually if meeting together you might build one week by week during the sermon, or as a joint community project) If Zoom meeting, everyone can build one and then all show and tell in a special service or on Christmas Morning.

You might like to build a nativity set from Lego such as this one from Frugal Fun for Boys

or this one I found on someone else’s Advent list (when I remember I’ll let you know who it was)


Always love the Praying in Color templates, these can be a visual journey of your own Advent prayers or you can use a more guided Advent study and use these templates as your visual prayer response to it. Suitable for all ages. She has some suggestions on how to use these on the linked pages.

Sunhats and Wellie boots have a dfferent take on an Advent Colouring-in calendar.

Advent Studies

This is one for all the family from the Presbyterian Church of Canada

Either for home or church use from INTERGEN there is a colouring in downloadable too


Love this trail idea from Sun Hat and Wellie Boots

This one has lots of choice for families of different aged children by the Uniting Church In Australia South Australia Synod

This is one for the Community and is a Northern Hemisphere idea but could easily be adapted to the Southern Hemishpere using coloured plants(new growth/new birth) could be used instead of coloured lights and would suit a situation where social distancing and outside worship is required.

Especially for Families at home

Here is a downloadable one from CandlePress

Mainly Ministries have produced this one

Try this I wonder series from Muddy Church


I look forward to this each year though it does require a copy of the Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones with illustrations by Jago. Downloadable

I’m going to sneak this one in, you need the book “Twas the Season of Advent by Glenys Nellist and there is a lovely activity pack download available that expands on the book.


Either at home or in Community instead of using the eternal circle to place your Advent Candles each week you could place them on the Southern Cross,(note the links do do work on this page, but the Biblical connects are worth reading). (I have a liturgy I’m working on at the moment when it is finished I will add a link to that here.) Any liturgy could be used with this idea though.

A watery Advent from Engage Together 2020(sorry it’s an old one but you get the idea) from p.13

There are many more wonderful resources out there. I hope I have not added to your confusion. Pick one and use it for the whole of Advent and if that isn’t working for your family change to something else. The important thing is that you find a practice that brings your family closer to God and helps them wait.

May you have a blessed Advent

Wendy L.

Please check local guidlines before using items that are not mine especially if you are using this page for congregational use. Please acknowedge this page if you find it useful. Thank you.

I am writing this on Wurundjeri land and wish to pay respect to all Elders, past, present and emerging.


Something made me mad

This week in Australia we had women protesting in every captial city including the Capital, Canberra. Now I am only just starting to walk again after 2 foot operations so I did not participate. But just becasue I was not physically there did not mean that I withheld my support. No I prayed for and applauded all the women who were there.

Women who may have experienced the same injustice as the woman who sparked this controversy, women who the Law Courts of our country have left without justice or a voice to express their story.

Teenagers who may have or fear that this behaviour may happen to them.

Those men who supported partners, children or just saw the injustice of the situation.

Women who have supported friends or aquitences, feeling thankful but concerned that it may be them next.

The Elderly who have kept secrets all their lives, and still find the only expression open to them is to protest rather than share their stories and unravel a lifetime.

But it’s not enough to pray when words and actions are needed. But sometimes the weight of the past and the sercrets it holds pull at our tongues and we stay silent and away, when we should stand up and be counted.

I stayed still, frozen, in unother time and space, locked in my own secrets.

Then after the shock came the anger.

Why are we still having this fight? This has been a fight since I was a young adult. Why are we not done with it? Why has interenerational chnage not happened.

When I lived on campus, we would be organised into groups to walk home from the library to the residences. We were given self protection classes, but the one thing that we did not do, was talk about the danger of living in residence. Did we just assume that as our home we were safe in it. That we didn’t need protection there in the same way that people closed there eyes to Domestic Violence in the homes we had come from.

I have nothing but personal expereince, no stats to back up my claim that walking home from the library had much lower odds to being raped then in our residences. We shared bathrooms, it was not unknown to be joined in a shower behind a locked cubicle door. Staying too long in someones room, or leaving the door open for air, seemed justification enough. I have seen the clean up of the academic system in my lifetime to reduce inappropraite use of power sexually, but not in residences.

In leaving this space, and living alone, the problem did not cease, those invited into my space failed to realise it was a home and being safe in your home and requesting permission in your home was important and not to be disregarded, but I did feel I had the skills to articulate this even though my name is followed by numerous letters.

What sparked this massive march of Australian women also happened in a house, a different type of house, Parliment House, our nations legal heart. A place we want to think is above reproach. Another illusion shattered.

Over the years I have tried to have these discussions with my daughters. A conversation they neither wanted nor took seriously, it took a couple of attacks on women walking home for them to start to pay attention, but not to me. They had believed the rehtoric that society was a safer space for women.

So why am I sharing all this on this page.

Because I set this up with the aim of helping families share faith together it’s important that we have these conversations in the home, as well as the broader community, whether or not our children want to listen. Beacause if they don’t hear about it in terms of a faith context the influences will come from other places. But neither do I see faith converstions around rape, pornography, respect and self worth as a pancea. It’s not, our stories are devisive, particullary the Old Testament stories. We need to remember they were told to spark discussion, open debate about much braoder issues than the obvious and so they should be used that way today. But there is a chance that someone will not see the same worth in them as we do. Which opens us to learning how to have safe and respectful discussions, the very crux of the issue.

But equally, we will not hear the feminine voice in the Revised Common Lectionary. Too often they are cut out and silenced so until these stories and their lives can be validated in the pulpit we need to speak about them in the home.

How many know of the story of Tamar, (2 Samual 13), Jethphah’s daughter (Judges 13) and the imagery of Jeremiah, and many more, let alone would discuss it in their homes, with their children, not ever having respectful discussion modeled from the pulpit. Most Minister’s working along side Child and Family workers get fidgety everytime the Story of Abraham and Isaac appears in the Lectionary.

WE need to chanllenge the stories, we need to hold the Old Testament stories up against the standard of the cross in the New Testament, and WE need to have these converstions starting in our families but also in community.

Our families need to be supported by the church to enable them to have meaningful discussions at home.

They need modelling, they need information, they need a church that preaches about the real community in which it stands.

So if this weekend you don’t hear something about this this weekend.

You need to make a stand.

You need to ask for it and you need to be assured that your family is supported by your community.

And if your congregation doesn’t have any children and families, then that’s no reason not to talk about what is happening, they hdave grandchildren, children, friends and above all have lived lives of silencewaiting for permission to open their mouths.

References: Battered Love by Renita J. Weems

Brave Girls Bible Stories by Jennifer Gerelds

Forgotten Bible Stories by Margaret McAllister


Wendy L.

Sunday Reflection: Jeremiah 4:11-12 and 22-28 and Luke 15:1-10

It’s now the third week of Jeremiah readings and we are almost at the half way mark of our Jeremiah venture. Again, the reading is rich in child metaphor, but the twist in this week’s reading is that unlike the previous weeks, which using Berryman’s classification of high and low images of children, see’s the first use of a “low” view of the child[1]. The child metaphor in Verse 22, of “stupid children with no understanding” seems at a strong contrast to the views expressed over the last fortnight. So how can we make sense of this seeming contradiction of the view of children as metaphor.

Let me back track a little, and say that as a class project a few years ago we had to find all the high and low versions of children in the Bible and they were surprisingly evenly distributed. In today’s reading, this seeming contradiction only serves to reminded me not to idolise children. Not to raise the idea of childhood and children beyond its limits, to always remind myself that children can be viewed in either a High or low view and that I choose to validate the high view of children but never to the point of objectification. Bungee in her Introduction in The Child in The Bible[2], gives a more nuanced overview of the Biblical views of the child in the whole Bible and I offer it to you as a worthy read, her response during the Houston Consultation on Child Theology in 2004, gives 6 views of Children in the Bible. And in today’s Jeremiah reading we would easily classify the use of the metaphor here as enhancing our models of faith, in this case what not to do.


During the week I participated in the pre Story Conference webinar, during which I attended the break out room given by a David Newman who deals with suicidal and depressive youth. He was discussing a form of therapy based on story to elevate other aspects of a person’s story from the prime depressive or suicidal one. This reminder of the importance of story to improving our mental health was significant as I prepared this week’s blog on the RCL readings, and my heart went, “oh no here we go again with the Good Shepherd story! How do I bring that to children who are hearing it for the first time and to their parents who have heard it ad nauseum. The reminder as to why story is so important to our faith life helped me. These stories, link us with past and future beyond our personal story. This was a reminder as we reread the Good Shepherd story, and its corresponding lost coin parable in today’s Lukian reading. It encouraged me to keep telling our faith stories not just to the young but to ourselves.


Wendy L.



[1]Berryman, Jerome, Children and the Theologians, (2009, Morehouse Publishing, NY)


[2]Bungee, Marcia, (Ed) with Terence E. Fretheim and Beverly Roberts Gavanta (Co.Eds), The Child in the Bible, (2008, William B Erdmanns Publishing Company, Grand Rapids)