7 Resources for Advent, created by women

The season of Advent, which is my favorite time of the year, is almost upon us!

Coming from the Latin word “adventus” which means “coming” or “arrival,” the season of Advent (a span of 4 weeks leading up to Christmas) is an intentional time to welcome the coming of Jesus- in all times, places, and situations.

“Mary and Elizabeth” by Lauren Wright Pittman | A Sanctified Art LLC | sanctifiedart.org

In a year full of grief, darkness, strife, and chaos, I am so thankful that the Church has a designated season for waiting in anticipation, hoping for rescue, and crying out for the light and life of Jesus to come into our weary world. Many of us are coming to Advent with weariness and aching, and this season is a much-needed one for our souls.

While I only really began observing the Advent season in the last decade, many of the original resources and devotionals I used were from white men and relied primarily on words/text. I have been trying to find resources from a greater diversity of sources that engage different forms of media, portray a wider range of perspectives, and center experiences of those on the margins. As a mom with two small children now, I am also always searching for materials that are accessible for kids, but contain a richer engagement with social realities.

*Note: most of these are new to me, except for the work Silence, so I cannot say I have reviewed them personally.

Starry Black Night: A Womanist Advent Devotional
  1. Starry Black Night: A Womanist Advent Devotional from Unbound

Unbound, an interactive journal and online community exploring Christian social justice, has created an Advent devotional for 2020, written entirely by Black women. It contains Sunday reflections as well as mid-week ones that explore the links between Advent and womanist thought, and also includes an Advent calendar.

You can find it online here.

Image from Reclaiming My Theology

2. Reclaiming my Theology Advent Devotional

Reclaiming my Theology is a podcast exploring how to take back our theology from systems and beliefs that oppress, and is hosted by the brilliant Brandi Nico. She has teamed up with a few other brilliant creatives- Amy Hu, May Kytonen, and Karlee Patton- to create a holistic devotional that includes embodiment practices, art meditations, journaling prompts and food reflections. It comes in both an e-version as well as a print version.

You can order it online here.

3. Those Who Dream: Creative Resources for Advent from Sanctified Art

This set of resources, created by the Sanctified Art team (an all women-led collective) includes devotionals, liturgies, poems, visual art collections, and original music which can all be downloaded as a bundle (for churches and groups) or individually. This year’s resources are based from Psalm 126, and use the Revised Common Lectionary. The images look absolutely beautiful and I love that it’s created by artists and poets.

You can learn more about this bundle of resources here.

4. Mary had a Baby: An Advent Bible Study Based on African American Spirituals

This unique resource, written by Dr. Cheryl Kirk-Duggan, provides an interactive study resource for every week of Advent, through 4 different African American spirituals. Each lesson includes Scripture, song lyrics, devotional and contextual information, and discussion questions for reflection and communal engagement. I love the idea of exploring Advent through spirituals.

This resource is a printed book that you can find through online book distributors.

5. Silence and Other Surprising Invitations of Advent

This devotional book, written by Enuma Okoro, a Nigerian-American author and speaker, is a beautifully written and unique reflection on the Advent season through a less popular perspective-that of Zechariah and Elizabeth. It contains daily scripture reading with a devotional, as well as a short prayer response.

This resource is a printed book that you can find through online book distributors.

From Storymakers Website

6. The Advent Zine from Storymakers NYC

Storymakers (an all women team) creates resources for children and families to engage the Bible through creative media, such as zines, memory cards, playbooks, and visuals. They have created an Advent Zine series that includes readings, reflections, and visuals meant for children to explore the Advent story. There are a couple different volumes you can explore.

To check it out you can visit their page here.

7. Jesus and the Community of Creation: Advent Prayer and Adventure Guide for Families

This might be a shameless plug (and Michael definitely helped out with this so it wasn’t created exclusively by women), but I have been collaborating on a set of resources for Advent for our church focused on Advent through the Lens of the “community of creation.” We were inspired by the work of Randy Woodley, to consider the participation of all of creation in the welcoming of Jesus into the world, and the role of overlooked players in the Christmas story- the women, the hay, the animals and the stars. We have created a resource guide for families to use with weekly reflections, prayers for candle-lighting, and suggested activities for kids.

To learn more, download the guide or order a Family Advent kit, visit our church website here.

How are you hoping to engage the Advent seasons? Other resources you would recommend or share?

Co-Pastor @bethelcommunitysl | Director of Advocacy @fphayward | pastor, activist, writer | married to @eubanksme | co-author of @lentenlament | she/her

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