From the Worldwide Faith News archives

[ENS] 'Slow down. Quiet. It's Advent!' Poster underscores

From Worldwide Faith News <>
Date Tue, 07 Dec 2004 19:31:51 -0800

Daybook, from Episcopal News Service

December 7, 2004 - Tuesday: To Note

'Slow down. Quiet. It's Advent!' Poster underscores season's purpose

* To READ: FOLLOW THE STAR: Christmas Stories That Changed My Life by T.D.

* TO READ: BETWEEN TWO WORLDS: Daily Readings for Advent by Kate Moorehead

by Daphne Mack

[ENS] Webster's New World Dictionary defines Advent as the period including
the four Sundays just before Christmas. Christians view this as a time of
purposeful reflection and peacefulness.

However, it can be difficult to practice calmness, and tranquility amid all
the pushing, grabbing, and spending associated with the season. That is
unless you have Slow down. Quiet. It's Advent! hanging on your wall as a

The idea for Slow down. Quiet. It's Advent! grew out of a conversation Susan
Elliot, director of communications at St. Columba's Episcopal Church in
Washington, D.C., had with communications team members Tom Bethell and
Kathleen Stanley in 1996. Stanley expounded on the challenge of keeping up
with a booklet of quotes they produced called Advent, Day by Day. They
agreed to recruit former associate rector Jay Sidebotham to do an Advent
calendar that would be more varied than a booklet, suggesting things to do
as well as food for thought. Subsequently, the poster was born and today is
being published by Morehouse.

"Jay and I joke about seeing Slow down. Quiet. It's Advent! on every
Episcopalian's refrigerator across the nation - heck, around the world, and
not just Episcopalians!" said Elliot. "Advent is rich with possibilities to
grow deeper in our faith, and we try to provide a light-hearted, yet deeply
serious way to move through each of its days."

It is a daily reminder that the season is about so much more. Each of the
days suggest that you do a good deed, pray, be thoughtful in the holiday
rush, write a nice note, or think about the real meaning of Christmas.

According to Elliot, through the years the calendar has been used by as many
as 40 churches in addition to one seminary, a monastery bookstore and a
bishop. In the 17th century, people were fond of the memento mori, a
sometimes morbid reminder that we don9t live forever.

"We think of this calendar as a memento adventus, a reminder that Christ is
coming and we need to be ready...It's also about letting friendships and
connections be fruitful, and it's about encouraging one another, at every
opportunity, to live into the possibilities of this rich and holy time,"
said Elliot.

To order Slow down. Quiet. It's Advent! visit

Note: The following titles are available from the Episcopal Book/Resource
Center, 815 Second Avenue, New York, NY 10017; 800-334-7626;

* To Read: FOLLOW THE STAR: Christmas Stories That Changed My Life by T.D.
Jakes (New York, New York: The Berkeley Publishing Group, 2003; 230 pages;

 >From the publisher: In Follow the Star, T.D. Jakes illuminates the meaning
of the holiday through family stories about finding the Christmas spirit
during the worst times of poverty and hardship-and of the need during the
best of times to slow down and appreciate fellowship, love, and God. With
warmth and wisdom, Bishop Jake makes Christmas past and present come
alive-and leads us to embrace fully the magnificent miracle of the birth of

T.D. Jakes is a pastor, community advocate, humanitarian, author,
songwriter, playwright, conference speaker and broadcaster. He pastors what
Christianity Today calls "one of America's fastest growing mega-churches."
Named The Potter's House, this multiracial, nondenominational church with 59
active internal and outreach ministries has dominated church growth records
since 1996. In only five years since relocating the church from West
Virginia to Dallas, Texas, The Potter's House grew from 50 families to more
than 28,000 members to date. Bishop Jakes heads two of most widely accessed
ministry Internet sites in the world today,
and He lives in Dallas with his wife,
Serita, and their five children.

* To Read: BETWEEN TWO WORLDS: Daily Readings for Advent by Kate Moorehead
(Cambridge, Massachusetts: Cowley Publications, 2003; 130 pages; $9.95.)

 >From the publisher: Moorhead uses the witness of the scriptures, her wealth
of experience in long years of ministry, and the wisdom of her own life of
prayer to guide us in praying the ambiguity of living faithfully between
"here and now" and "there and then."

Kate Moorehead is an Episcopal priest, wife, and mother of two. She has been
an active leader in Gathering the next Generation, a grassroots movement
among Generation-X clergy and lay leaders in the Episcopal Church. She is
currently the rector of St. James Church in Wichita, Kansas.

-- Daphne Mack is online editor for Episcopal News Service.

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