By Amanda Greene
Religion News Wilmington
Many words can describe this holiday season leading up to Dec. 25. Joy and Jesus and babe in a manger are on one side of the spectrum, but, for some, stress and sadness are another part of the season.
That’s why the Rev. Jenny Wilson at Wrightsboro United Methodist Church decided to reach out to her parishioners and community in a 25-day video series on Facebook called 25 Days of Christmas – not to be confused with the ABC Family movie series.
The church was already filming its weekly Sunday announcements. So Wilson decided to take that filming a step further and post an encouraging Facebook video blog message on one aspect of the holiday season from Dec. 1-Dec. 25.
“In the 21st century, in mainline denominations where the membership is down, you want to pull in the thing that captures the hearts and minds of people without diluting the gospel,” she said.
Wilson isn’t the only one in her denomination speaking out about simplifying Advent. Rev. Ken Carter, a Methodist district superintendent in Lake Junaluska, N.C., wrote a recent column about making the season simpler for pastors and church workers as well. Some of his advice: give shorter Advent sermons to make room for the music or exchange gifts on Jan. 6 instead of Dec. 25, especially for pastors with Christmas Eve service duties.
Wrightsboro UMC’s daily video blogs address the stress, materialism, depression and loneliness of the holidays as well as giving spiritual encouragement. And Wilson gives ways to help simplify your life when you’re rushing between your husband’s work Christmas party and picking up Aunt Marge’s gift at the mall.
But the series is not just for believers, Wilson said.