WAKING UP: Advent Small Group Study


In this four week small group study we prepare to come to the Mystery of Christmas, awake, and seeing in a new way. Includes Summer bonus resource: Summer Sabbath: Four Devotions for the Road, Cottage or When your Church Closes for a Summer Sabbath.

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We know the traditional ways of “waking up” in the season of Advent. The colours change to purple or blue. The evergreen wreath comes out and the candles call us again to our intentions for hope, peace, joy and love. We hear familiar Advent bible stories and sing our favourite carols.

Christmas calls every year. We wait. We wonder. We watch. And we wake up. Sometimes we need a little help waking up.  We need something astonishing to shift our consciousness and bring us anew into the Mystery of Christmas and the story of Incarnation.

In this four week Small Group Study, we set four sayings from an ancient Christian text, The Gospel of Thomas, beside our traditional scripture and consider ways they might wake something fresh in us. The Gospel of Thomas was one of the ancient texts found in buried the desert of Egypt in 1945 opened up a new understanding of Christianity. It is 114 sayings attributed to Jesus that help us see what we’ve always known in a new way.

Would you like to see a sample of this Small Group Study?  Click here: Sample Waking Up LEADER GUIDE

Here are the themes of our four sessions:

Session ONE: Waking Up: Living Teacher, Living Wisdom.
Jesus is a wisdom teacher and not just back then, but now. His teachings have spiritual energy and activate a space within that opens our heart to the Mystery of the Incarnation.

Session TWO: Waking Up to a Really Big Story
Sometimes we say, “I don’t feel very Christmassy.” This can be a good thing waking us to a big picture of incarnation in the world around us, in mundane moments, in hope and pain, and in all of life. We wake up to seeing reality with new eyes. 

Session THREE: Waking Up (again.)
Sometimes we say, “Christmas is for children.” It is … if we understand we are not called to BE a child. We are called to BE fully alive. Advent takes us back to our Source and begins a life-long journey home.

Session FOUR: Waking Uo to Carry the Light Within.
We carry the light within and it shows on our faces. We are deeply inhabited. We find ourselves in a Story of Incarnation that is still unfolding. 

 What You Receive in this Small Group Study 

  • Access to a webpage where you find everything you need to lead these sessions.
  • Leader’s Guide (includes the complete group process for four sessions with suggestions for: Creating space, Opening, a Breathing Pause, Check-in, Content through listening to audio recording, Discussion Questions, and a Group Spiritual Practice.
  • Easily downloadable Audio Recordings for use in each session.
  • Scripts of the Audio Recordings to download and photocopy and share with participants
  • Leaders Notes with Suggestions for adapting to Zoom. With thanks to the Rev. Jennifer Irving, there is now a series of POWERPOINT SLIDES she prepared when leading her group.
  • Participants sheets with the questions for use in session and a take home reflection.
  • Downloadable image and customizable poster for the series. Social Media icon for promotion.
  • Order now and receive the Summer resource: Summer Sabbath: Four Devotions for the Road, Cottage or When your Church Closes for a Summer Sabbath.(includes copyright to copy for your community of faith.)

 How Do Prayer Bench Small Group Studies Work? 

When you register and pay, you receive a confirmation email with information to access a private webpage where you will find all your resources in one place.

You can pay using PayPal, Credit card, Email bank transfer, or cheque.

Review some Frequently Asked Questions about Prayer Bench Small Group Studies. 

Here is a sample of the sessions for Waking Up: Sample Waking Up LEADER GUIDE.

More questions? Visit: Frequently Asked Questions about Small Group Studies.
or Email Janice


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