Advent 1: Hope Coming to Discouragement

One Advent Candle.jpg

Advent is Latin for "coming" and has traditionally been understood by the church as a time to prepare our hearts, spirits, and minds for the remembrance of Jesus' first coming at Christmas, as well as the coming we look ahead to. This year, Leah will be asking what it means in this present moment, the Bay Area in late 2017, to experience God's "coming" in practical terms, along with the gifts that coming brings.

This first Sunday of Advent, Leah considers the traditional gift reflected in the first Sunday of Advent: the gift of Hope. Is hope just a hallmark sentiment? Wishful thinking? Naiveté? Or is it something essential to moving forward in faith and community, particularly in trying times? These are the questions Leah considers, with inspiration from the Prophet Isaiah.

Review Leah's notes here or listen to the teaching below.

Even Jesus Needed a Break

Many of us are feeling the stress of this season not only in our own life, but in our country. Through sustained seasons of stress, how do we take care of ourselves so we can stay engaged in life for the long term? Is self-care even a valid concern, or simply an expression of privilege. 

Audre Lord was a leading activist in the 20th Century. She was a poet, a writer, a feminist, a womanist, a lesbian, and a civil-rights leader. She said the following on self-care, "Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare."

In this new series, which we will come back to periodically, we will explore "Soul Care for Seasons of Stress". With a unique format, Leah will lead us through some Biblical frameworks for caring for our selves and our souls, and then other Haven-ites will take the time to share some of their own unique soul care practices, and help us discern if they might be something that could work for others of us, or inspire us along the way to finding our own rhythms and practices. 

In this Sunday's teaching, David Lai shares about his practice of meditation and Connie Barker shares about her practice of Bible Reading.

See Leah's notes for this week here. Listen to the entire teaching below. David's portion begins just before 23 minutes, Connie's at minute 36.