Advent and Christmas looked different in 2020 as churches tried to observe traditions while keeping people safe from the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The virus is still with us in 2021. To help alleviate some of the stress of Advent and Christmas planning for pastors and church leaders in 2020, the Conference program staff offered some tools and resources to reimagine the holidays. The package contains an extensive list of resources, original skits for Zoom, graphics, advent calendars, and more. Some have been updated for 2021, but most are still relevant with or without an update.
Use the title links below to see or download what interests you.
Created in 2020 by the Rev. Amy Wagner, the list has been updated for 2021 and includes liturgies, studies, music, children's activities, etc. There's something to fit the needs of every church.
A collection of three original skits, written by lifelong United Methodist and retired English teacher Dawn Conroy and designed to be performed over Zoom, these are appropriate for all ages. Participants are encouraged to dress up, use props, and be creative. Each skit includes instructions and advice to guide churches in the process. Each skit is contained in its own folder with graphics. What Can We Give Him? includes additional Zoom backgrounds for each segment.
Dawn Conroy has graciously given permission for her work to be used at no cost by any church. Please credit her after each performance. (Initially written for Western PA United Methodist churches, the scripts are labeled as such. But because of requests from other churches/areas, Dawn granted permission for any church to use the skits, with credit to the author.)
This resource provides links to Advent activities, devotions, and materials that churches can put together in boxes or bags to be sent home with families. Some of the links are for pre-made boxes, but churches can tailor their own to fit their congregation. Encourage families to document and share photos of how they use their boxes.
Missional Engagement Coordinator Sandra Matoushaya put together an interactive Advent Calendar to highlight all the good done by mission volunteers, agencies, partnerships and personnel connected to Western PA. Each day, new information will be revealed.
2021 German-English Advent Devotional from the WPAUMC-East German Conference Partnership includes entries, written by clergy and laity of each Conference, in English and German for each day.
Advent Devotional from WPAUMC Disability Awareness Team, prepared for 2020, includes two devotionals per week to help people think more broadly about Advent and what it means for Christians in the disability community.
Pittsburgh Theological Seminary's Advent devotionals and resource kits are offered free each year.