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Advent and Christmas at Olivet 2023

Welcome to Advent and Christmas at Olivet Baptist Church! 

Advent comes from the Latin word “adventus” which means: coming or arrival.  It is the period of time before Christmas where we wait for the coming of Jesus Christ.  In this way, we align ourselves with the people of God throughout the Old Testament who were waiting for the Messiah, the anointed one of God, to come.  We also look ahead to Christ’s second coming, when he will return and the full reign of Jesus Christ is enacted on Earth.  And so, for now, we wait.

We have a number of opportunities to participate in Advent and Christmas at Olivet, as well as some resources that can be used personally or in smaller groups and families.

Please note -  while Advent officially begins on Sunday, December 3rd, which would make Sunday, December 24th the fourth Sunday of Advent as well as Christmas Eve – we have decided to begin Advent a week earlier on Sunday, November 26th, 2023.  This allows us four Sundays of Advent and to celebrate only Christmas Eve on Sunday, December 24th.

Advent season at Olivet:

Sunday, November 26: Advent Week 1

Sunday, December 3: Advent Week 2

Sunday, December 10: Advent Week 3

Sunday, December 17: Advent Week 4

Sunday, December 24: Christmas Eve

If you have any other questions, please contact Pastor Stephanie.

Advent and Christmas at Olivet:

Unexpected: an Advent journey through the surprising stories that lead to the Messiah – Sermon series throughout Advent

In the often-overlooked genealogy at the beginning of Matthew’s Gospel, there are five names that are different: Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Uriah’s wife, and Mary.  Their stories are complicated and unique as God shows his faithfulness in unexpected ways.  Each Sunday through Advent we will follow the threads of these stories that inevitably lead to Jesus Christ, the Messiah.

Unwrapping the Unexpected – Wednesdays at 7:00pm (first one on Wednesday, November 29)
All are welcome to unpack Sunday’s sermon as we study God’s word, pray with and for one another, and engage in some contemplative practices for the Advent season.

Angel Tree – Begins Sunday, November 26
In an effort to grow in our love for people, on the first Sunday of Advent, the Olivet Christmas Tree will be adorned with tags for you to take.  Each tag will have limited but important information about a Journey Home refugee.  You are invited to take a tag from the tree, purchase a Christmas gift for the individual described, and then place the tag on the gift.  Gifts are due back under the Christmas tree in the sanctuary by Sunday, December 17.

Christmas Tea and Carol Sing – Friday, December 8 at 1:00pm
A time of connecting with fellow seniors over Christmas treats and carols in Olivet Hall.  All are welcome and we encourage you to bring a friend (or two!).  Tickets are $5 and can be purchased Sunday mornings at Olivet.

Blue Christmas Service – Saturday, December 16 at 10:00am
While Christmas is often thought of as a season of joy, it can intensify feelings of loss, grief, fear, and pain.  Held in Olivet Hall, this service offers collective consolation as we hold sacred space for our feelings and experiences. Through prayer, readings, songs, and reflection we will, together, bring our pain to the One who gives us hope and knows us by name. 

 Christmas Eve Candlelight Service: The Messiah – Sunday, December 24 at 10:30am and 6:00pm
As Christmas Eve falls on a Sunday, we are offering two options for participating in the Candlelight Service.  You may choose to come at our regular service time at 10:30am or the evening service at 6:00pm.  Both services are identical – simply choose which one you will attend that works best for your schedule.  After the service in the morning we will have Christmas treats and apple cider.  We encourage you to invite friends and family.

Advent and Christmas Resources:


  1. The One True Light: Daily Readings for Advent from the Gospel of John
  2. The One True Gift: Daily readings for advent to encourage and inspire
  3. The One True Story: Daily readings for Advent from Genesis to Jesus
    All three of these daily devotionals are written by Tim Chester (pastor and theologian) and are thoughtful, inspiring, and focused on God’s mission.  Physical book and Kindle options.
  4. Silence – And Other Surprising Invitations of Advent by Enuma Okoro
    Imaginative meditations for each day of Advent that wrestle with deep sorrow and longing, focusing on the longings of Zechariah and Elizabeth.  Physical book and Kindle options.
  5.  Advent by The Austin Stone
    A personal and family daily resource distributed by The Austin Stone Community Church in Austin, Texas that has a missional theology focus.  Also, bonus, it includes a few delicious recipes at the end.  The link leads to a downloadable pdf.
  6. Honest Advent by Scott Erickson
    A visual daily devotional by artist Scott Erickson, who offers beautifully crafted symbols as a way to meditate on the sacred story.  Creative, unique, contemporary, and powerful.  Physical book and Kindle options.
  7. Interactive Christmas Storybook by Illustrated Ministry
    A colourful and craft focused resource for families with children.  Illustrated Ministry also offers colouring pages/posters and other creative options for families.  Link leads to the website where one can purchase a download (or check out the other online resources).

Advent Music:

Links to albums or a playlist on Spotify that focus on the season of Advent as we wait for the Messiah.

Christmas Music:

Links to an album or a playlist on Spotify that offers worshipful Christmas music.