Advent is here and for many brings with it a sense of excitement and reflection as we open doors to see what treasure is hiding behind. So this year we thought, what better way to celebrate than to open the doors to our Baptist churches across Scotland!
For each of the 24 days of advent you can open a door on our Online Advent Calendar and hear all about what is happening in our Scottish Baptist churches and communities! From Shetland to Selkirk; Tiree to Tillicoultry, join in the festivities as we celebrate and anticipate the doors God is opening around our country.
Christmas last year was for many a mixed time that felt like a season of restriction, sacrifice and loss as restrictions were brought into place, forcing families to review their togetherness and allow it to take on a new shape.
It also created space for new experiences, more intentional and mindful connections with our communities and loved ones. For some it offered means of retreat; permission to do things differently, to hunker down as smaller units and look to more immediate comforts. For others there was sacrifice involved as families had to choose how to gather, and who to gather with, and who to gather without.
An aspect we felt challenged on recently in our team here at the Scottish Baptist Union was how to become more intentional about our rhythms, our outreach, and our reasons for doing things the way we do.
Is it because they are the best way or because they are familiar or comfortable? Are there aspects we can change or approach differently?
Advent season is traditionally a season of anticipation, preparation and celebration, but I also wonder how this could be shaped when we add intentionality to the mix? If we can approach this year’s Christmas season with a more deliberate approach to being mindful and prayerful each day, and being aware of looking for opportunities to hear God speak so we can encourage others.
Over the next few months in Connect we will be hearing from church leaders who have felt similarly challenged and have discovered that creating new rhythms and ‘changing the DNA of how we do church’ can have significant impact.
We hope you feel equally as inspired and would love to hear about what is happening within your churches across Scotland so we can share and encourage each other.
If you would like to get in touch I would love to hear from you; please just drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And from all of us here, we wish you a very merry and blessed Christmas and Advent season!