Believing that Advent is a season of active waiting for the birth and return of Jesus Christ, Denville Community Church offers an 2023 Advent Advocacy Calendar to help members and others use this special time to “do justice and love mercy” every day.
Among its many, missional small groups, the Shared Abundance group took what it learned from the church’s exploration of food insecurity, racism and justice this year (Read “GNJ churches prepare to advocate for food justice and against racism”) and found ways to activate those lessons through daily study, reflection and response.
The Rev. Heather Valosin, pastor, called the calendar “an unexpected outcome.” But now the group is using it to post motivational, action-oriented messages for 24 days on the church’s Facebook and Instagram pages since December 1. The messages offer links to resources, beginning with the United Methodist Church’s Social Principles and then articles, research reports, poetry, videos, activity ideas and more. Their goal is to help members become more informed and engaged advocates for change.
“Every day we explore different causes and areas where our communities need support,” writes Valosin. “This advocacy project was the result of many research hours. And we are overjoyed to share it with others.” She thanks its creators—Jean Nightingale, Marcia Brands, Sandy Vogel and Pam Frie—for their permission.
“I am glad other people will be able to enjoy it and grow in knowledge and faith,’” said the Rev. Eunice Vega-Perez, Skylands District Superintendent. “The leaders from DCC are on fire for Jesus and Justice. I am so proud!”