Presbyterians Today

NOV-DEC 2018

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Pr e s by te r i a n s To d ay | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018 13 and enter the spiral. Placed along the path are symbols representing God's creation. Each year, Sias-Lee tweaks the symbols, sometimes adding angels and stars. Sias-Lee has noticed in the three years of offering the Advent Garden Walk that some people walk slowly and observe the symbols along the path, while others hurry to get to the center, where they meet the Christ child. That's where people are invited to light their candle. When they exit the spiral, they are instructed to place their candle somewhere along the path. "Because once you meet Christ, you must share that light," Sias-Lee said. The walk has not just become a beloved tradition for church members, but it has been attracting extinguishers close by." Winter spiral walks might be new to Presbyterians, but they are familiar to Waldorf School students, where the walk is part of the winter curriculum. The Waldorf School was founded in the early 20th century by Rudolf Steiner, who believed music, dance and writing were not subjects to be read about and tested on, but experienced. Sias-Lee first experienced a winter spiral walk at her daughter's school. The pastor took the idea and infused it with Christian meaning and symbolism and created what she calls the Advent Garden Walk. The walk is held the first Sunday in Advent. Young and old enter the darkened sanctuary for a short worship service. Then quiet music plays as people take an unlit candle those outside the church, too. "We have seen millennials come to the Advent Garden Walk, bringing their 'spiritual' friends along because they find the evening inspirational," Sias-Lee said. "The walk has become an evangelism tool." Beyond evangelism, the spiral walks are helping churches recap- ture the meaning of Advent. "The Advent Garden Walk is a beautiful night that reminds us of what Advent is for. Not just for preparing for Christmas morning with a celebration of food, gifts, family and friends, but the advent of Christ's coming again in hope, peace, joy and love," Sias-Lee said. Donna Frischknecht Jackson is editor of Presbyterians Today. New for 2018 Presbyterians Today's Advent Devotional God Lifts the Lowly Daily meditations and prayers based on Mary's Song of Praise Artwork and poems by Andrew Weatherly Reflections and prayers by Donna Frischknecht Jackson and Krin Van Tatenhove To order, call 800-533-4371 and ask for PDS 17116-18-007 Or order online at pcusa.org/2018advent Pricing: 2–9 copies, $3.50 each,10–99 copies, $2.50 each, 100+ copies, $1.95 each

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