WAKING UP: Advent Small Group Study

by | May 25, 2021 | Uncategorized

WAKING UP: An Advent Small Group Study.

Welcome to WAKING UP An Advent Small Group Study. Know you are one of many groups using this resource. You’ll find everything you to lead this Small Group Study on this page.

You have permanent access to this page for use within your group/congregation or pastoral charge. You are welcome to share the information with group participants who miss a session and want to hear the audio. For all other sharing, please ask permission.


  1. First on this page, you will find the Leader Guide. You can download and print it for your use.
  2. Then you will find the audio recordings and scripts for the sessions and the resources needed for each one. 
  3. You will find Participant Sheets and Other Resources referred to in the Leader Guide, NEW: PowerPoint Slide. The Rev. Jennifer Irving shares the slides she prepared in leading this series.
  4. There are a number of items in Promotional Resources you can use to promote your Small Group Study including an icon/photo for this series and a customizable poster you can use in promoting the study in posters and online.
  5. And, finally, you’ll find the participant and leader evaluations/feedback.

The print files are available in PDF version. You can download and save these to your computer.

The Audio Recordings are easier than ever to download and save to your laptop/computer so you can play them without an internet connection. Look for the download icon download-simple-black-icon-512 in the top right hand corner of the audio track and follow the download directions. I recommend downloading the audio recording even if you are meeting in a space with internet.

Please, if you have any issues with downloading or opening files email me and I will do whatever I can to help or send you materials another way. Email Janice.

Leader’s Guide

Please note that all sessions are in one guide. It also includes the handouts related to “Take it Outside.”  You’ll find the Audio Scripts under the Audio Recordings.

◊ Download and print the complete Leader’s Guide: Waking Up Advent 2021 Leader Guide

Audio Recordings

Your four easy-to-download Audio Recordings will be found here soon.

SESSION 1: Living Teacher, Living Wisdom

SESSION 2:Waking Up to the Divine Now

SESSION 3: Waking Up (again)

SESSION 4: Waking Up to Carry the Light Within

Scripts for Audio Recordings

You will find a script for each audio recording that you can download, print and share with participants. These scripts are also included in the Leader’s Guide.

SCRIPT for Session 1 Living Teacher, Living Wisdom (PDF)
SCRIPT for Session 2 Waking Up to a Really Big Story (PDF)
SCRIPT Session 3 Waking Up (again) (PDF)
SCRIPT for Session 4 Waking Up To Carry the Light Within(PDF)

Participant Sheets and Other Resources

Here you will find participant sheets with prompts for discussion and take home meditations, songs, links and other resources mentioned in the Leader’s Guide.

Participant Sheets with Prompts for Discussion and Take Home Meditations: The four participant sheets with prompts for discussion & take home meditations (PDF). These pages are also found in the Leader’s Guide.

POWERPOINT SLIDES: The Rev. Jennifer Irving shares the slides she prepared in leading this series. You can download them from a Dropbox files. Waking Up Slides

Session 1 Song “Love Make Your Way” by Alana Levandoski. Here is the video.
Session 3: Print copies of the bible stories from Bible Gateway. 
Session 3: Song “When God is a Child” by Brian Wren.  Here is a video. 
Session 3: Sacred Reading of Scripture Group Spiritual Practice. Download and Print: Sacred Reading Process for Group Spiritual Practice
Session 4: Song “A Weary Couple” arranged by Tony Alonso. Here is the video.

Promotional Resources
  • Download & Print Poster for this Small Group Study: Waking Up Poster.  Fill in Your Date/Time in Details
  • Here is a jpeg image of the Study icon to use for your promotion of this study on social media: Download the Waking Up Image 
  • Email me if you would rather me email you the poster and icon.
  • Brief description for bulletins, newsletters or social media. Depending on how you promote this resource, you can draw words from the brief and longer description:
WAKING UP: ADVENT SMALL GROUP STUDY (a brief description) 
We wait. We wonder. We watch. And we wake up. We come anew to the Mystery of Christmas
as we listen to these reflections and join in conversation together.

WAKING UP: ADVENT SMALL GROUP STUDY (a much longer description)
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.

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. 


Group Evaluation: Here is a WORD document that you can use or adapt with your group: Click Evaluation (Waking Up)  This is a WORD file you can adapt and add other questions.

Leader Evaluation: Here is an online Leader Evaluation you can use to offer feedback to the Prayer Bench. It’s doesn’t take long to complete and your feedback is very important in shaping future studies. Take me to the online feedback form.

As you begin your Small Group Study, I encourage you to ‘leave a comment’ below introducing your group and where you are from. We are many small groups but one community of faith. Let us hold one another in prayer as we journey through this study together

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