Christmas at Church of the Servant is full of many traditions: Christmas Brunch, Children’s’ Nativity, O Come O Come Immanuel dance, singing Silent Night at Candlelight on Christmas Eve. 

Yet, 2020 has been a different journey.

As we move towards Advent, we do not want to uphold traditions to simply numb the pain of this year nor to maintain a nostalgia in our grief.

Rather, we invite you to consider journeying with us in Advent towards the manger and to reflect on how your journey this year connects with those who made the first journey.  Their journeys were filled with fear, fatigue, risk but most importantly the surprise and hope that the Immanuel had come.  Hope that this Immanuel would welcome outcasts, gaze with love upon the small and lift up the humble.

We hope that by committing to the journey:

  • you will find a lifegiving rhythm in the midst of work lives that are continuously readjusting
  • you will find deeper relationships in the midst of virtual connections
  • you will be refilled with the hope, love and presence of Immanuel

We will be providing two journeys:

Through this journey may you discover that all the hopes and fears from all the years can be met through encountering the Christ Child.


Journey to the Manger for Children in Preschool-6th Grade

During Advent, our children will join some furry, buzzing, and squeaky creatures on a journey to the manger! Your family will receive craft supplies and art materials to make a manger scene at home and surround the manger with eager animals, awaiting the birth of the Savior!


Craft Kits

Please plan to pick up your children’s craft kits and art supplies at church on Saturday, Nov. 28th between 11am-3:00pm.  You may also purchase the All Creation Waits book at $10 for collection at this time. If your children usually ride the church van to church for programming, your materials will be delivered to your house by Dec. 5. If this schedule doesn’t work for you, please contact Jolanda Howe at 616-238-1324 or jo.howe@coscrc.org to schedule a pickup or drop off.

Your children will have the chance to gather with their club group once during December to talk about Advent and explore how to draw close to God through creative expression! Each club meeting will wrap up with an invitation for all the kids in preschool-6th grade in your household to gather around the zoom call to work on that week’s craft activity: making one of the creatures from the All Creation Waits book by Gayle Boss. Ms. Jo will walk them through each step and they’ll have the chance to help each other along the way. When they are finished, each child will put their animal around the manger, which we hope you’ll keep on the family table, or another visible place during Advent. 


Zoom Meeting Schedule

Click on this link  to join any of the club meetings in December. When asked, enter the passcode CLUB. To join by phone without a computer, dial 1-312-626-6799. When asked for the meeting number enter 84509390414# this should get you into the meeting. 

Girls Club (2nd-6th grade) will meet on Sunday, Dec. 6th at 4:30pm, with the last 10-15 minutes dedicated to a Honeybee craft for the girls and their preschool-6th grade siblings. 

Boys Club (2nd-6th grade) will meet on Sunday, Dec. 13th at 4:30pm, with the last 10-15 minutes dedicated to an Opossum craft for the boys and their preschool-6th grade siblings. 

Kids Club (Preschool-1st grade) will meet on Sunday, Dec. 20 at 4:30pm, with the last 10-15 minutes dedicated to a Vole craft for the kids and their 2nd-6th grade siblings.


Advent Art for Older Children

If your older children aren’t interested in making animal crafts, they may enjoy the more open-ended art activities offered for all ages during Journey to the Manger on the COS Facebook Group at 6:30pm on Wednesday Dec. 2, 9, 16 and 23. The live videos will also be available after the dates they are filmed live to watch anytime (at this website link page). Art materials provided in the children’s kit should allow them to participate in these activities. 

If you have any questions about how your children can participate in these Advent activities, please contact Jolanda Howe at 616-238-1324 or jo.howe@coscrc.org.  


Journey to the Manger for All Ages

Each Wednesday night on COS Facebook Page at 6.30 pm • Dec. 2nd, 9th, 16th, and 23rd we will set up the journey theme for the week.  On Sundays, there will be an additional short video posted to keep connected.  The live videos will also be available after the dates to watch anytime on the House Church Resources page.   

  • Dec 2nd            ‘Hidden and growing silently: Mary’s experience’ 6.30 pm COS Facebook Page
  • Dec 6th             ‘Mary’s Song: Giving your life in sacrifice’
  • Dec 9th             ‘On the road to Bethlehem: Journeying’6.30 pm COS Facebook Page
  • Dec 13th           ‘No Room: Jesus’ presence in tiny cracks’
  • Dec 16th           ‘Learning from the Margins: The shepherds journey’6.30 pm COS Facebook Page
  • Dec 20th           ‘Mary’s Treasure’
  • Dec 23rd           ‘Wise Gifts: Treasuring Wisdom’6.30 pm COS Facebook Page

During our Wednesday night gatherings, there will be reflection, readings, prayer but also our guest artist Carole Kane will encourage us to make art for the Advent journey.  We invite you to consider adding to the art each week to build up an advent collage.

Here are some basic art materials that you have at home or can buy in the store: A range of colored/textured papers/ wrappers, tissue paper from the likes of shoe boxes, newspaper, card, crayons, paints, pencils, scrap fabric, ribbons, button box, etc. Nothing too prescriptive and just bits and bobs.

If you would like a selection of craft materials, we can provide that.  Please contact Jolanda Howe at 616-238-1324 or jo.howe@coscrc.org.  Please plan to pick up your art supplies at church on Saturday, Nov. 28th between 11am-3:00pm.  You may also purchase the All Creation Waits book at $10 for collection at this time.


Advent Candles:

We encourage everyone to consider having and lighting Advent candles at home during this season. Candles can be purchased online from Church Supply stores or other craft stores. Please also share pictures of your Advent Candles on the COS Facebook group.


Finally:

A large part of our COS tradition is to gather for Christmas Brunch at the start of Advent.

This year we want to bless our community with food so we invite you to look at the list of Food Pantry items and consider placing food items at the manger at the front door of COS during Advent.

At the manger there will also be two QR codes: One to purchase Meijer Simply Give cards and the other to purchase frozen chickens that we will distribute to the community.

COS FOOD PANTRY NON-FOOD ITEMS

  • Toilet paper
  • Hand Soap and Body Soap (Dial, Zest, etc.)
  • Toothpaste
  • Dental Floss
  • Denture cleaner
  • Deodorant (men’s and women’s)
  • Shampoo & Conditioner
  • Body Lotion
  • Band-Aids (small boxes)
  • Women’s personal products (pads preferred)
  • Dish Detergent
  • Laundry Detergent & Dryer Sheets
  • Kleenex
  • Baby Shampoo
  • Baby Lotion
  • Diaper Rash Cream
  • Vaseline
  • Children’s Tylenol or Children’s Ibuprofen (not infant’s)
  • Thermometers