The word 'Advent' means 'coming'. Christians observe the season of Advent as a time to reflect on the fulfillment of God's promise to his people in the birth of Jesus, the first Christmas. The season begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas and ends on the day before Christmas.
Advent at St. John the Divine is a special way to prepare for the coming of Christ using your eyes, ears, and voice. We offer several opportunities to experience the love of Jesus Christ with your family. Chart the path to Christmas using our Advent Guide, follow our Virtual Advent Calendar for daily scripture verses, or join us for a special seasonal event. We hope you will join us in a meaningful Advent season!
Make an Advent Wreath
All are invited to gather together at 10:00 am hour in Sumners Hall to make Advent wreaths. The cost is $20 for a kit containing fresh greenery, advent candles, ribbon, candle holders, and floral foam wreath. We will include a short devotional piece for the lighting of each new Advent candle on the four Sundays of Advent. In order to have enough supplies, we need anyone making a wreath to pre-register.
Virtual Advent Calendar - December 2 - 24
Experience Advent daily with our virtual Advent calendar. Each day from December 2 - 24, we will post a Bible verse on our Facebook page that focuses on the coming of Christ.
To receive the calendar on Facebook:
- Log in and search for The Church of St. John the Divine (facebook.com/sjdhouston) and 'Like' our Facebook page.
- If you're on your phone, scroll down to 'Upcoming Events'. If you're on a desktop, scroll down to 'Upcoming Events' in the left column.
- Click on 'Virtual Advent Calendar', then click 'Interested' or 'Going' to sign up.
- Click the envelope button that says 'Invite' and invite all your friends to join us too!
- Finally, Like and Share our posts as a way to remind the people you care about the real reason for Christmas and that their "redemption is drawing near too."
You can also receive these verses by text. Just text the word "Advent" to 313131. Email email@example.com for details.
The Art of Advent
Sunday mornings at 10:00 am December 2 - 16, Admin Bldg, Room 201
Taught by Melissa Grobmyer
We will explore the Christmas story and how it has been presented in art since the Renaissance. From the Life of the Virgin through the Adoration of the Magi, artists have focused on all aspects of this very human and very holy story, bringing it to life for worshipers for the last 500 years.
ADHD and Advent
Sunday mornings at 10:00 am December 2 - 16, Admin Bldg, Room 203
Taught by Susan Jones
We will discuss the intersection between ADHD and spirituality, and we will learn how remove obstacles that prevent us from having a Christ-centered Christmas. We will learn strategies to calm holiday chaos — strategies useful to those with ADHD, those who parent children with ADHD, and those with simply too much to do during the holidays — so that we can focus on celebrating the real meaning of Christmas, the birth of Christ.
The Qur'an and the Bible: from Adam to Jesus
Wednesday nights at 6:30 pm November 28 - December 19, Admin Bldg, Room 203
Taught by Drs. David and Ida Glaser
The Qur’an has a history which leads to Jesus. That history is strangely familiar to the Bible reader, with its major characters of Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, and John the Baptist. But it is also puzzlingly different, because Qur’anic history leads from Jesus to Muhammad before it leads on to Jesus’ coming again. In this course, we will study and compare the Biblical and Qur’anic accounts of these characters.
Christmas on the Boulevard - Saturday, December 15
Join us for an evening of music and merriment at our second annual Christmas on the Boulevard. This is a free event.
4:00 pm: Live Nativity
Experience the mystery of that Holy Night with a family-friendly live nativity on the front lawn with live animals.
5:00 pm in the Church: Christmas Gala Concert
The SJD Chorale, Houston Boychoir, and River Oaks Chamber Orchestra offer a concert of seasonal favorites and selections from the Christmas portion of Handel’s Messiah. Additional seating with livestream of the concert will be available in the Hall Life Center with room to move. The SJD Children's Ministry will provide a Nativity ornament craft for children.
6:15 pm in Sumners Hall: Reception
A festive post-concert reception follows in Sumners Hall with refreshments and live jazz.
Childcare will be available for infant - 3 years at all events by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org in advance.
Associate directors of music John Meier and Zach Meeks curated this special playlist of some of their Advent favorites!
Join the Rev. Charlie Holt as he connects with some of our Advent teachers on our first hosted podcast, availabe in December on iTunes podcasts and Google Play. Visit sjd.org/podcasts for informatino on how to listen, and email email@example.com to learn more about this series.
Morning and Evening Prayer
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday at 7:00 am and 5:00 pm in the Chapel
Find space to take your worship beyond Sundays during the season of Advent with the daily offices of Morning and Evening Prayer, conveniently offered before and after work hour days a week in the Chapel.
Christmas at St. John the Divine
For information on all our Christmas services, please visit the Christmas page.