2014 Advent Devotional Guide

Screen Shot 2014-11-29 at 10.39.06 PMCLICK HERE to download the 2014 Advent Devotional Guide! Written and prepared by members of our community and supported missionaries, we invite you to participate in this annual tradition. The devotional is meant to be a shared experience for all of us as we prepare to celebrate our Lord’s birth.

Join the Conversation Online on the BLOG

This year, we will be publishing the Advent Devotional Guide in a series of blog posts online at www.blacknalladventdevotional.wordpress.com. A devotional will be posted each morning of Advent, beginning Sunday, November 30, and you can also sign-up to receive daily email reminders.

How to Use This Guide

Make it a part of your daily routine during Advent.

  • Keep the devotional on your kitchen table so that each morning you read it over breakfast.
  • Put the devotional on your pillow and resolve that you will not put your head down until you have read it.
  • If you read it online, put a daily alarm on your computer or your phone that reminds you to read it at a certain time each day. Add a second back-up alarm.
  • Keep your toothbrush in the devotional and read it while you brush your teeth (for three minutes your dentist recommends).
  • Use it as a time of worship: open in prayer, light a candle on the Advent wreath, sing a favorite hymn or carol, read the Scripture and devotional, sing another favorite hymn or carol, and close in prayer.
  • Find or create another daily habit.

Share it with friends.

  • If you live with other people, read it together and then talk about it.
  • Use it as a conversation starter on Sunday mornings or at other Advent events, “Did you read the Advent devotional today? What did you think?”
  • Go online and share your thoughts with others at our blog: www.blacknalladventdevotional.wordpress.com.
  • Parents, make it a point to talk to your kids about it. Translate it if you have to. If your kids are older, text them about it.
  • Study it together with your small group.

We live in a culture that seizes every opportunity to convince us to buy stuff during this season. Let us, then, be just as intentional to seize every opportunity to think together about the Coming and Second Coming of our Lord Jesus.

Cover Artwork by Christina Saj.

Advent Sunday School

Advent Sunday School 2014-01

Sunday, December 14 & 21
9:45 – 10:45 a.m. in the Fellowship Hall

On Sunday, Dec. 14 and Sunday, Dec. 21 everyone from the Birds’ Class through the adult Sunday School classes will be invited to join together in the Fellowship Hall for a whole congregation Advent worship time during the Sunday School hour.  The two separate Sundays will follow the model of our Children’s Worship time. After gathering in the Atrium with light refreshments, people will be invited to come in quietly to the Fellowship Hall.  There will be hosts who will greet and welcome participants encouraging them to come into the space prepared to hear from God and worship God.

We believe that providing everyone at Blacknall with more opportunities to worship and hear from God together regardless of age can be a good gift to all of us. We hope to see you there!

For more information, contact Warren Kinghorn, Adult Education, or Traci Hoover, Director of Elementary Children’s Ministry

Image link

November/December Newsletter

The November/December Newsletter is now available

Click here to download the full version including articles on Blacknall’s weekly Communion experiment, Sunday morning coffee hospitality, TableTalk, and Operation Christmas Child.  Happy reading!

2014 Advent Calendar of Events

Advent 2014-01

Advent Wreath Workshop

Sunday, November 30  •  4-6 p.m.  •  Community Room
All ages and stages are welcome to participate in this craft!  $12.00 for a kit; sign-up in the Lower Atrium. Childcare will not be provided.

Women’s Bible Study Brunch

Thursday, December 4  •  9:30-11:30 a.m.  •  Fellowship Hall
Join Blacknall women for fabulous food, fellowship, worship, and a special message. Childcare provided for infants through 2nd grade.

Lessons and Carols

Sunday, December 7  •  8:30 and 11 a.m. worship services  •  Sanctuary
Our annual celebration with a chamber orchestra, gorgeous choral singing, and lots of congregational participation, all built around selected Scripture readings. Regularly scheduled children’s programs and nursery provided.

Advent Sunday School

Sunday, December 14 and 21  •  9:45 a.m.  •  Fellowship Hall
All ages (Birds Class through adults) are invited to the Fellowship Hall for a special Advent Sunday School class! The two separate Sundays will follow the model of our Children’s Worship time using Godly Play. Childcare provided through age 3.

Carols and Cocoa

Sunday, December 14  •  6:30-7:30 p.m.  •  Sanctuary
A Christmas songfest with tasty refreshments to follow. Come sing your favorite carol and end the evening with cocoa and cookies. The whole family is welcome! Childcare will not be provided.

Worship on the Longest Night

Sunday, December 21  •  6:30-7:30 p.m.  •  Sanctuary
Perhaps this has been a hard year for you or you are having trouble getting into the ‘spirit’ of the season. All are welcome to gather for prayerful worship of Jesus Christ, the Light of the world, who is with us even on this (symbolically) longest and darkest night of the year. Childcare provided for infants through 2nd grade.

Christmas Eve Services

Wednesday, December 24  •  5:30 and 7:30 p.m.  •  Sanctuary
Both services include communion and candles. Childcare provided through age 4.

December 28 – 11 a.m. Worship Service Only

The entire Blacknall family (children included!) is encouraged to participate in worship together this morning at 11 a.m. There will be no 8:30 a.m. worship service. Nursery care available through age 2.

Epiphany Sunday Reception

Sunday, January 4  •  9:45 a.m.  •  Fellowship Hall
Bring the whole family to celebrate Epiphany Sunday during the Sunday School hour! Light snacks and refreshments will be provided. Childcare will not be provided.

Holiday Hospitality with ISI

ISI Thanksgiving-01

Many international students would treasure an invitation to be included in a family’s holiday gathering. The ISI team (International Students, Inc.) in Durham hopes to connect you with students for you to extend a personal invitation to your household’s Thanksgiving Day or Christmas season gathering.

Click here to sign-up or contact Scott Hawkins for more information.