Super important topic!
Not only will pandemic considerations affect Advent worship, teaching, and programs at CHURCH, it will be a strain on many HOME celebrations and traditions, such as family get-togethers, Christmas parties, traveling, etc., and will impact many family's gift-giving budgets due to the economic situation.
These things will be happening during a time of year when emotions and expectations already tend to run high. Thus, we need PASTORAL solutions as well as programmatic ones.
I also can't help but think of the first Christmas' difficult journey and "no room at the inn."
Several articles have started to pop up on church blogs. Here's one of the first I read that offered some hope.
I, for one, am growing weary of the emotional whiplash of “the COVID maybe,” the perpetual back-and-forth between hoping and planning to gather in person and then seeing that delayed for another two, four or six weeks -- or postponed indefinitely. I appreciate the clarity of my colleague’s congregation: everything in-person will be held online well into January.
That allows two things to happen. First, it allows space and time for grief. As with Holy Week and Easter, there will be considerable grief about physically distanced celebrations of Advent and Christmas. But second, such clarity allows us to move from the weight of that loss to the hope of possibility -- from lament to creativity.
By beginning conversations now about what Advent and Christmas online could look like, we can harness the imagination of our congregations.
--Rev. Nathan Kirkpatrick, Director of Alban at Duke Divinity School. https://faithandleadership.com...bout-advent-pandemic
Feel free to suggest, link to, or quote other helpful resources and ideas.