"Look, Mommy! Look, Daddy!" children exclaimed as they ran toward the tables containing colorful paints, markers, crayons, ceramics and all kinds of craft items.
Their parents followed them and participated as well in Advent Family Night at First United Methodist Church in Tupelo, Mississippi. "We do this on the first Sunday of Advent as a kick-off to the Advent season," said Kristen Partin, older children's coordinator at First.
In 2014, more than 95 children and adults shared a meal together and created crafts from 5 to 7 p.m. They painted baby Jesus, star and angel ceramics and took them home. They also painted crosses, made Christmas banners and ornaments, and painted angels and other symbols of Advent on canvas.
Artists visited the crafters in the large fellowship hall and taught them step-by-step how to do the more complicated projects. Partin said that anyone could do the crafts, even those who cannot draw stick figures. Children are satisfied with the outcome of their creations while having fun with color.
The Advent Family Night is a tradition at the church. "We stopped for a while, but started offering it again," said Partin. First United Methodist Church plans to continue Advent Family Night well into the future.
AT A GLANCE First United Methodist Church | 412 W. Main St., Tupelo, MS 38801 | 662-690-8100 | [email protected] | www.fumctupelo.com | Rev. Fred Britton | Average Attendance: 590 | Mississippi Conference
Written by Christine Kumar, freelance writer and administrator, Baltimore-Metropolitan District, Baltimore-Washington Conference.
What works in your congregation? Send story ideas to [email protected]
Originally published in Interpreter Magazine, November–December, 2015.