Pastor's Friday Letters

The Luminous Darkness of Advent

By December 2, 2022 December 5th, 2022 No Comments
Artwork by Jan Richardson

This Advent, we are reveling in and appreciating the season of darkness. So often, the theme of Advent is seen as “waiting for the light,” as if light is the only bringer of joy and peace.

The metaphor of returning light is lovely and comforting, especially to those of us who live in the Northern Hemisphere. But we lose something precious when light is always equated with goodness, and darkness as forever something to avoid.

In addition, Black liberation and womanist theologians have much to teach us about the ways in which our faith tradition has abused the spiritual binary of light and dark to perpetuate white supremacist thinking. This Advent we will learn from them and learn from the dark as we sink into the theme of Luminous Darkness.

Starry Black Night Advent Devotional

Starry Black Night Advent Devotional

To assist in this learning, our Advent Devotional is “Starry Black Night,” an Advent devotional exclusively featuring the voices of womanist theologians.

Womanism is a lens on the world that emanates from the life experiences of black women, with the dual oppression of sexism and racism. Applied to Christian theology, womanists help us read our sacred text from the view of the margins, revealing God’s word in new ways.

This devotional was published two years ago, in the depths of covid and the racial uprising of 2020, but many of its themes are relevant for today.

You can access the devotional two ways:


The worship team has prepared some wonderful services to celebrate and honor this season.

Advent and Christmas Services

Nov 28th, Advent One, Hope. 
We are so grateful to Jayne Peterson for beginning this season by sharing her deeply thoughtful message, “Darkness as Hope, Life Force, and Connection.”

Dec 4th: Advent Two, Peace.
Rev. Simon Ruth de Voil joins us for worship! Simon will be leading worship and communion with Pastor Amara, as well as gifting us with his beautiful music.
Dec 11th: Advent Three, Joy. 
We will celebrate with joy the relationship we have with Kids in Concert, as they join us to offer our prelude. We’ll reflect on Mary’s song, the Magnificat, and the way that Christmas brings a reversal of of all we understand. We also will joyfully welcome new members into the life of our community this Sunday!
Dec 18th: Advent Four, Love.
This Sunday we will honor the earth’s natural movement and rhythms by celebrating the Winter Solstice, prayerfully preparing as we make room for Love in our lives and world.
Dec 24th, 8 pm: Christmas Eve Candlelight Service!
Join us and invite your neighbors and family for a candle-lighting service of stories, poetry, song, and silence, welcoming the return of Love Incarnated to our lives.
Dec 25th: Christmas Day: No Service.
Christmas lands on a Sunday this year. There will be no services on Dec 25th.
Jan 1st: New Years Day
Join us for a brief, non-traditional worship that will center around sharing a special communion for the beginning of the year. Then join us for communion of fellowship and food — a potluck brunch in Stuart Hall!
Rev. Amara Oden

Author Rev. Amara Oden

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