November 18, 2011
Preparing for Advent/Best Kept Secrets
"I've got something for the girls of Savannah, and all of America, and all the world, and we're going to start it tonight!"
Many women reading this may recognize this famous quote from Juliette Gordon Low, founder of the Girl Scouts of the USA. Having recently returned from a visit to Savannah – and a tour of both Juliette’s childhood home and the home she inherited from her husband – her words came to mind as I started work on this blog about Advent resources and ECF Vital Practices
Towards the end of this blog I’ll share a list of Advent resources I’ve stumbled across recently. I’m intentional in using the word ‘stumble’ for if I wasn’t paying attention to the Episcopal Communicators list serv, or to the Your Turn page on ECF Vital Practices website, I wouldn’t know about any of these.
Which leads me to the ’best kept secrets’ part of this title. How often do we create and/or discover wonderful resources only to save them somewhere that almost guarantees that many of the people who could benefit from them will never find them – in part because they wouldn’t know to look there. When we post resources to our own congregational, diocesan, or organizational website or network, we unintentionally keep these from anyone outside of our own groups.
Enter ECF Vital Practices. To paraphrase Juliette, ‘We’ve got something for congregational leaders in our church and all over the world, and we started it 13 months ago.’
Since our launch on October 18, 2010, ECF Vital Practices has attracted over 46,000 unique visitors from across the United States as well as 127 other countries. [This blog post represents the 3,633 page of content published.] Our analytics show a consistent 50/50 mix of new and returning visitors; as of 11.18.11 the site is approaching 300,000 page views. And, while these numbers may feel impressive, I’m also aware that there are still many people in our church who are unaware of this resource.
So what does this have to do with you?
- If you are a content creator – translation someone who has or is developing resources for congregations – we’d like to know about what you are working on. Please consider sharing via Your Turn or by dropping me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If you are someone who has found, or is using, a great resource created by someone else, I’d like to hear from you too (email@example.com).
- If you are – or know some who is – looking for resources to help with your ministry, I invite you to sign up for our email distribution list and/or ‘like’ our Facebook page in order to receive regular updates from us related to new content.
- Please help spread the word about ECF Vital Practices. If you administer a website, please consider adding a link to ECF Vital Practices in your resources section. Or, ask the person who administers your congregational, diocesan, or organizational website to add a link.
As promised, here are the Advent resources I’ve discovered to date:
- From the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland: Seasonal Resources to include a (new) written and audio calendar for Advent
- From the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas: Advent reflections
- From Episcopal Relief & Development: The “Gifts of Life” downloadable Advent calendar and other resources
- From Forward Movement: “The Stillness We Seek” Daily meditations for Advent"
- From Mustard Seed Associates in Seattle: “Waiting for the Light: an Advent Devotional”
- From Your Turn, ECF Vital Practices: Advent Calendar by Thomas Mousin, St. John's Episcopal Church, Charlestown, Mass.
Do you have an Advent resource to share? Please consider adding to ECF Vital Practice’s Your Turn page; if you post it, we’ll publicize it. Thanks.