redbaron338's picture



Where Do You Find Hope?

     This Sunday, December 1, begins the season of Advent.  In many churches this day will be marked by lighting the first candle in the Advent wreath.  For many, this first candles will be a candle for Hope.

   What is the Hope for which this candle is lit?  Where do you find Hope in your life, your community, your church, or your world? 

Mandate's picture



Cracking the Surface of Advent

How do you prepare for Christmas? Where does considering what Christ’s birth means fit in with your baking, shopping, decorating, and visiting? Or does it? We’d like to hear from you as you consider what two writers said about how they approach Advent in the November 2010 Mandate.

Before he was ordained, the Rev. Matthew Stevens—a United Church minister of Mohawk and Irish Métis heritage who is a staff person in London Conference—used to celebrate Advent with his family by lighting a wreath with five candles representing peace, hope, joy, love, and Christ. They’d have calming after-dinner readings and discussions, but then, he says, “[I] allowed ordination to replace a natural and gentle progression with frantic ritual.”

EmergingSpirit's picture



Richard Manley-Tannis: Advent - Do-ers and Be-ers of the Word!

"But be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves." --James 1.22

Advent is here and I have to admit that I am feeling some melancholy. This time last year I was in Israel-Palestine with Christian Peacemaker Teams. It was easy, I am aware of the irony, in that place to be a Do-er and and Be-er at the same time. Each day began and was framed by worship that was grounded in using The Beatitudes as a way in which to experience the Holy in places that were not always easy and in which the temptation for apathy and cynicism was always present. Using our hearing of The Beatitudes made it possible to be fully present as a Do-er!

As I walk into Advent this year, however, I think James’ words might be reframed to Christians in the 21st Century to read, “But be hearers of the word, and not merely doers who deceive themselves.” As opposed to, “But be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves.” It seems that we stand in a bit of a tension with our consumerised holiday season to be always doing something: where every moment is filled with a meeting or party to attend, a gift to buy or a charity, NGO, social justice cause to support – all this doing is bloody exhausting! Furthermore, it seems we have stopped, been tempted, distracted (however you want to frame it) to let go of the Be-er, hearers, simply Being a people of faith.

Mardi Tindal's picture

Mardi Tindal


Moderator Mardi Tindal's blog: Advent love


We began Advent last Sunday with a focus on hope. As you and I have prayerfully prepared for the United Nations Climate Change talks over the days since, I've found it inspiring to see so many examples of people choosing hope over despair.

Mardi Tindal's picture

Mardi Tindal


Moderator Mardi Tindal's blog: Moral leadership and Advent hope

I’ve been out of the country this week fulfilling a leadership commitment to the North American Ecumenical Stewardship Center, made long before becoming Moderator. It sometimes seems easier to get a perspective on Canada from a distance, and at table with those of other nations.

crazyheart's picture



Controversy Over Ritual

I remember when advent candles were purple, pink and white and Ithink, sometime, in the 90's, the purple were changed to blue.


I heard that purple in the penitence for Lent and the Blue is hope for Christmas.


Now, if a minister chooses to use purple and the powers that be want blue, why should this become a controversy. They are just candles - not a life and death thing in the church.


There are many contoversys that bloom into great dilemmas. Why is this? Why do people always have to challenge?

wrdwryter's picture



Advent Greeting

Decorate your life with hope

Shine its light on all

the dark emptiness

where gloom and apathy dwell

Let its glow wash over

downtrodden dreams

making them shimmer with expectation

Scatter its sparkling promise

through your day

And watch as God's grace

Dawns on the world

Mardi Tindal's picture

Mardi Tindal


Moderator Mardi Tindal's blog: From fear to joy

Welcome to my blog—a place to reflect with me on God’s abundant healing of soul, community, and creation. I hope you will visit often and be part of this sacred conversation.

In various messages, I have been describing Mary’s turning from fear toward joy as a theme of Advent.

Even in such a perilous time as hers, with reasons to be afraid, Mary allowed her heart to turn from fear to joy.
Even in such perilous times as ours, with reasons to be afraid, we too are called to allow our hearts to turn from fear to joy.
For when we liberate our imaginations, reason is put into its proper place, and hope flourishes.
Last weekend in Winnipeg at the RiverRunning intercultural conference, I heard extraordinary stories of people turning from fear to joy, thereby inspiring others to do the same. Embracing one another across diverse cultures, it is exciting to see United Church congregations sharing a common mission with diverse expressions.
Left to right in foreground: Stan McKay, Laura Mariko Cheifetz, me, and Katalina Tahaafe-Williams. Photo by Alcris Limongi.
Knox United Church, for example, figures that there are between 80 and 90 cultural groups represented in its congregation. Not surprisingly, Knox’s congregational materials radiate a lively embrace of the 40th General Council’s reaffirmation about becoming an intercultural church (much more than multicultural), with activities that range from the Jesus FlickFest to the Rainbow Community Garden.

Graeme Burk's picture

Graeme Burk

WonderCafe Advent Calendar: December 24

 About the WonderCafe Advent Calendar.


It’s the final entry of our Advent Calendar…but what will it be?