Advent Boxes 2020

At Augustine United Church we decided to send out Advent Boxes far and wide and see what happened. We sent them to families who are regularly in Church, the families of nieces / nephews / grandchildren of people in church and other families who have a connection with the congregation. Our furthest boxes went to the USA & Japan.
Families were delighted to get the package through the door and excited to have different envelopes to open each week with different activities and stories.
As a congregation in our worship we took the idea of the Jars of Hope & Joy, inviting all worshippers (whether you had an Advent Box or not) to make a Jar. Each week in the services from Advent to Epiphany we invited everyone to write on strips of coloured paper and add them to your jar. On the Yellow strip we wrote something we hoped for ourselves, the Blue strip something we Hoped for the earth, the Red strip something we hoped for others. Then on the Gold strip we gave thanks for something which gives us Joy, on the Green strip something which gives the earth joy, and on the Purple strip something which gives others joy. On the last week we were invited to make the strips of paper into a paper chain to remain with us in the weeks ahead. Our minister has a chain which we see each week in worship beside the Peace candle.
In total we bought and posted 35 boxes and we were very grateful to the Synod Children & Youth fund for paying for the boxes while the congregation paid for the postage.
It was a wonderful idea and creation from the URC, which supported many families through a very strange Advent and Christmas Season.