Common Ground Editorial: November 2020

The Church’s new year is just around the corner! Advent marks the beginning of the Church’s liturgical calendar and will begin on Advent Sunday, 29 November, 2020.

We’ve put together this edition of Common Ground to help you enter well into the Advent season. We’re excited to bring a collection of articles, a short story, and a liturgical map to help you in this. By way of introduction, Olivia Burne has written our lead article titled, “The Advent Proclamation: Christ Has and Will Come.” This places Advent in its historic context and suggests its particular significance in this hard year. One of the common ways the Church celebrates Advent is by reflecting on John the Baptist’s birth. In keeping with this, Nathan McLellan has written a beautiful first-person, fictional account of Zechariah’s experience of silent waiting for the birth of his son, titled “Waiting in Silence.” Also, one of our Vocational Programme alumna, Helen Murdoch, reflects on the year past in this month’s Alumni Interview.

To help you journey across the four weeks of Advent, we have created a weekly Advent liturgical map. We designed it to be printed on A5 paper and used in your homes and communities. Hard copies will also be available at our upcoming Advent Evenings in Auckland (Friday, 27 November, 2020) and Wellington (Tuesday, 8 December, 2020).

To come alongside the liturgical map, Rachel Kitchens has prepared instructions for creating your own Advent wreath at home. We recommend this as a wonderful activity for you and your family or friends to do together. Give it a go!

Finally, most of us know beautiful Christmas greeting cards can be hard to find, especially ones that reflect our Aotearoa context. Therefore, we have created a set of four Christmas cards available to purchase. Given the relational disconnection many of us have experienced this year, we encourage you to purchase a set (or more) and write to friends and family this Advent season.

We hope you enjoy this Advent edition of Common Ground. We have loved writing, creating, and preparing it for you.