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According to the Western Christianity church calendar, Advent starts tomorrow, December 2. I’m saddened that little word of it is being shared in the Anchorage church community.
Advent marks the start of the church year, and traditionally is observed each of the four Sundays before Christmas. It is observed by a period of watchful waiting for the Messiah. Traditionally it was a period of repentance and soulful searching of one’s heart. Only one church, First UMC in downtown Anchorage, submitted an Advent service announcement to the Anchorage Daily News Matters of Faith page for today’s paper.
Is it possible that everyone is tired from the orgy of eating and shopping over the past week? Or all those in-church celebrations of eating and entertaining? Advent is the perfect antidote for the mass consumerism that threatens to kill the true spirit of Christianity.
I checked a number of larger church websites and found only a few recognized the start of Advent and offered related services tomorrow. This list is representative but not intended to be exhaustive. However it does represent 1/2 to 2/3 of church attendance in Anchorage. The bottom line is you are going to have a tough time finding an Advent service tomorrow. Here’s what I found.
Advent Noted On Main Webpage
Christ Our Savior Lutheran (only prominent mention)
St John UMC
Holy Cross Parish
All Saints Episcopal (four earlier dates push Advent off page)
Advent Not Noted On Main Webpage
St Mary’s Episcopal
St Benedict’s Parish
St Patrick's Parish
Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish
Holy Family Cathedral
St Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish
Anchorage Baptist Temple
Amazing Grace Lutheran
Faith Christian Community
I have tried to be sensitive to not include those churches that do not observe Advent in these lists. It does give one food for thought as we enter this Advent season.