Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. ~ Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird
You are likely familiar with the line of the well-loved Christmas carol, O Holy Night, that says, “A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices!” We can certainly relate to the weariness of the world this Advent, can’t we? And yet hope feels . . . complicated this year.
How will Advent at Highland be different during a world-wide pandemic? We invite you to join us for worship on the four Sundays of Advent beginning November 29, 10:00 a.m. on Highland’s YouTube and Facebook accounts. Each Sunday, we will offer a different challenge for us to live with a posture of hope as we wait, watch, and pray for God to make a way in our weary world.
In addition, below are some of the other creative ways we will connect with God and point one another toward Hope throughout this Advent season. Maybe, in the midst of our Advent journey together, Hope will be born, once again, within us.
Each day of Advent, you will receive an email with a devotion written by a member of our Highland family. These devotions will also be available daily on Facebook and in its entirety on our website. If you would like a hard copy of the devotional booklet to use at home, they will also be available Monday, November 30 – Friday, December 4, outside the doors to the educational building from 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m., weather permitting.
We invite you to share these videos and devotions on social media! In addition, you might want to post your own video or reflection about where you are finding Hope this Advent season. What a wonderful way for us to hear from the unique voices of the Highland family and to share Highland’s thoughtful and progressive voice with our wider community. As you share on social media, feel free to use the hashtag #hopeforawearyworld.
Supporting our Community
We collect a special offering at our Thanksgiving Day service for Habitat for Humanity. This offering directly supports our annual partnership “Baptist House” here in Louisville. Read more about this offering here. Financial contributions will be collected through the end of the calendar year. Click here to view the bulletin.
Our annual Christmas Store will take place on Saturday, December 12. We encourage you to donate toys and books by November 29. Read more about the Christmas Store here.
In lieu of Christmas Baskets for Highlands Community Ministries, due to COVID-19, we are raising funds to donate gift cards to families. Donate here. Please type “HCM Gift Cards” in the comments section.
Holding Space for Grief and Loss
As is our tradition at Highland, on Sunday, December 6, at 3:00 p.m., the second Sunday of Advent—Peace Sunday, we placed crosses on our front lawn in memory of the over 140 people who have died in Louisville so far this year as a result of violence. While this ritual is familiar to us, it is a poignant time of loss for those who grieve deeply during this holiday season.
Due to the restrictions of COVID-19, we were not able to invite the entire church to participate in this ritual. A limited number of people from our Anti-Racism Team and Reparations Task Force were present. You are invited to visit the memorial in person on your own at any point through the end of the year. Click here to view the bulletin of this service.
Leaving Room for the Unexpected
We acknowledge that this is an Advent season unlike any other, and so many of our original plans have needed to be re-planned and completely re-imagined. We have hopes for some additional opportunities to connect as we get closer to Christmas, but we are also holding these hopes alongside a deep respect for our state’s efforts to fight COVID-19 and our deep care for the health and wellbeing of our entire community. Please read the newsletter for more up-to-date information each week. In the meantime, let’s leave room for Hope to come in unexpected ways among us as we make this Advent journey together.