Ideas for celebrating Advent and Christmas in the time of COVID-19:
-Reverse Advent Calendar: instead of opening a door on a countdown to Christmas calendar and receiving a tiny gift, each day suggests a food item or other commodity purchase and set aside in order to fill holiday food baskets or resource another giving program.
-Do It Yourself Advent Wreaths: the church sends out kits that contain the supplies necessary to make an advent wreath. The wreath is accompanied by a devotional booklet.
-Outdoor Nativity: stage an outdoor event that families can walk through. You might use recorded music to set the mood.
-Luminaries: Light a path around your church or somewhere in your community with luminaries. Provide a devotional reflection people can use as they walk the path.
-Christmas Light Spectacular: decorate your church in a style similar to The Great Christmas Light Fight as seen on TV. Use a short-range FM radio transmitter to broadcast music and a message of hope and the love of God.
-Christmas Eve in a Parking Lot: offer Lessons and Carols (or similar Christmas Eve service) over an FM radio transmitter or sound system to drive-in participants.
-Christmas Eve in a Barn: socially distance yourself for a Christmas Eve service or Children’s Pageant in a location similar to where the first Nativity occurred.
-Drive-Thru Bethlehem Marketplace: adapt the VBS/church school curriculum to make it a drive-thru experience for the whole community.
-Change Location to Extend Outreach: adapt whatever you plan so that you can move it from inside your church building and offer it at the County Fairgrounds, a local park, the parking lot of the public school, or a similar venue in your community.
Advent Resources – from the Michigan Conference
Children’s Ministry resources, free original music, video bumpers
Weekly Offertory Prayers – from United Methodist Foundation of Michigan
The offering provides a weekly opportunity to connect our faith commitment with our financial habits. These lectionary-based offertory prayers, written by David S. Bell, seek to encourage generous giving as a spiritual discipline.
Advent & Christmas Eve ideas – from the Minnesota Conference
A variety of ways to gather safely and to celebrate the coming of Jesus generated by pastors by the Twin Cities District.
The Promise of Advent – hosted by Adam Hamilton
A webinar series focused on planning and celebrating Advent even when congregations can’t participate in all the familiar rituals and traditions.
Books and Studies for Advent 2020 – from Resource UMC
A selection of resources from the United Methodist Publishing House to help people prepare to receive the hope of Advent in a time of anxiety and uncertainty.
Advent and Christmas Music in the Midst of COVID-19 – from Discipleship Ministries
Ideas about adapting familiar practices for use during times of pandemic
Preparing for Advent and Christmas 2020 in the Covid Pandemic – from rotation.org
A wealth of creative ideas sourced from Christian educators using the Workshop Rotation Model of Sunday School. Ideas are presented in an online forum. You’ll find some great suggestions here.
Christmas Pageants 2020 – Live, Zoomed, Outside – from Virginia Theological Seminary (Episcopal Church)
A list of ideas about how to adapt the annual Christmas pageant to Covid-19 realities.
AdventWord 2020 – from Virginia Theological Seminary (Episcopal Church)
An online, interactive, social-media connected Advent devotional exercise. It might give you some ideas to adapt for your congregation.