Sunday, December 2nd marks the start of the Advent season! Advent is a time when we prepare ourselves for the coming of Christ. It is meant to be a time of reflection and a time set aside to renew our connection to Christ. This year, I plan on following along with the #AdventWord Global Advent Calendar as created by the Virginia Theological Seminary! Each day, there is a meditation emailed out around a specific word, and people have the opportunity to sign up and write daily reflections which can then be shared via social media platforms. When I was younger, we collected coins in a little Advent box but since graduating high school, I’ve been a little unsure of exactly how to “celebrate” the Advent season. By focusing on a specific word to meditate around and reflect upon each day, I can better center myself during this prayer season which I’m looking forward to. Please feel free to accept the invitation to join this global Advent calendar!

Human Family

This Sunday, at the 125th anniversary of the laying of the cornerstone at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry gave a sermon of love in which he said “Love is not a way, love is not one way, love is the ONLY way”. With recent national events, I’ve personally been having to work extra hard towards loving our enemies as much as we love our friends and families. But Bishop Curry’s call to creating a human family, not just a human race, really made me reevaluate how I personally can do better at loving everyone, especially those I do not get along with. Thanksgiving can be a frustrating time for people traveling home if their families have different political or social views than they do, which is why Bishop Curry’s sermon tonight was both relatable and applicable to the holiday season that is upon us. Choose love!

Give thanks, friends!

Last week in the November Events e-newsletter, a link to a November Gratitude Every Day calendar which has on each day a space to write what you’re thankful for like “A memory I am thankful for” or “A color I am thankful for”. Gratitude is a positive emotion and we can all benefit from some positive emotions in our lives especially as second midterms and finals are approaching. In Science of Happiness (seriously you guys, this class is so good), we learned that happiness actually leads to success. In schools, kids primed with positive emotions had higher GPAs, improved memories, and were more likely to talk issues out. Gratitude is also something you can practice and learn! The more frequently we practice gratitude, the easier it becomes to identify feelings of gratefulness! I know that for me personally, the gratitude calendar has helped me re-evaluate what is good and wonderful in my own life. Give thanks friends!

With God's Help, We Will

This past Sunday, at the All Saints service, we renewed our Baptismal Vows, answering questions with "I will with God's help". In both joyful and difficult times, we, as a community, will with God's help. Personally, I struggled with placing everything in God's hands, but through Him we can and we will overcome, persevere, and triumph. Especially on this election day, I feel that it's important we, as students, remember that no matter what happens, with God's help, we can and we will see and enact God's love in the world.