by Martha Holmen
During Advent, Christians and Anglicans around the world are turning to social media to share their common experience of waiting and preparing for the birth of Jesus.
The Anglican Communion, partnering with the Society of St. John the Evangelist, is once again inviting Anglicans to join its global online Advent calendar. Everyone who signs up will receive a daily prayer and photo based on a different word each day. They’ll also be invited to respond on social media with their own prayers and photos using the hashtag #AdventWord and the word of the day (for example, #Shine, #Hope or #Awaken). Those contributions appear with others from around the world in the Advent calendar at adventword.org.
For those not sure where to start, the Anglican Communion has provided resources explaining how to contribute and encourage others to join in. Newcomers can watch a tutorial video, clergy and parish leaders can download posters and bulletin inserts, and participants can see the full list of daily words so they can plan ahead. To see the resources or sign up for daily emails, visit aco.org/adventword.
Participants can choose to receive emails in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Hindi, Portuguese, Spanish, Tamil or American Sign Language.
Those looking to explore the meaning and mystery of Advent through social media can also join the Occupy Advent movement. Entering its sixth year, it describes its purpose as “reclaiming the holy season of waiting and watching for the Lord.” Using the hashtag #OccupyAdvent, social media users share their thoughts and reflections as they try to resist commercialism and focus instead on Advent as a time to slow down and simplify their lives. To join the conversation, visit Occupy Advent on facebook.com/OccupyAdvent or follow @OccupyAdvent on Twitter.
Martha Holmen is the Digital Communications Coordinator for Toronto Diocese.