Rev Philip Bee, Minister at St Andrew’s (UM) Church, Penistone, explained how through the Methodist Circuit, they are reaching out to local schools this Advent:
St Andrew’s Church (Methodist and URC) is this year providing Advent calendars relating to a Jesse Tree of 25 symbols to schoolchildren at local schools, to be opened daily alongside stories of characters and events from the Old Testament leading to the nativity that parents can share with their children. Our toddler and children’s groups at St Andrew’s are also receiving these as a way of encouraging parents beyond the congregation to engage with key Bible stories. Our advent candle ceremony each week at Sunday worship gathers up these symbols to place on our Christmas (Jesse) tree as we approach 25th December. Our congregation is also following the Jesse Tree stories and a pattern of prayer as a daily devotional throughout Advent. It’s our way of reaching into and developing the prayer life of our congregation and reaching out to and engaging with the community beyond the church.