"Light One Candle"

One church in Missouri is providing advent wreaths for their church and members of their community.

Churches around the District are looking to find ways to connect with their congregations and their community. Some churches, like St. Andrew in Stockton, has found a unique and simple way to engage people: take home advent wreaths and a family interactive book.

Like all churches, St. Andrew has had to implement many measures during COVID-19, like having an additional service on Sundays to accommodate social distancing and switching Bible studies and services to online streaming for at-home viewing. With midweek services often having low attendance even before COVID-19, they decided to take a hybrid approach: online only mid-week services with daily at-home advent activities.

One way they plan to help families stay engaged with devotions and church is by providing simple advent wreaths and a children’s activity which includes a book with stickers to place on a backdrop of Bethlehem. Rev. Ronnie Backs, pastor at St. Andrew explains, “We thought that with the combination of the advent wreath and the children’s activity that we would have [increased] interaction with parents and with their children.” The theme of the devotions? Backs says, “[We went] back to the very basics of hope, peace, love, and joy.” Casey Morgan, youth director for St. Andrew, leads the children’s activity through brief, daily videos.

St. Andrew is an excellent example of creating an impact on a budget. They used basic supplies to assemble the advent wreaths and they are hosting their daily advent videos via Facebook. You can follow along too, simply visit their Facebook page (ST ANDREW LUTHERAN STOCKTON MO.)