ELKHART, Ind. (Mennonite Education Agency) — "Restoration is Near!" is the theme of the Advent at Home 2022 worship guide, now available at the Mennonite Church USA (MC USA) website: https://mennoniteusa.org/adventathome. Using the theme developed for Leader magazine, the guide offers weekly and daily Scriptures from the lectionary texts, worship rituals, prayers, activities, and background information to help individuals and households of all ages prepare for Advent through Epiphany.
Talashia Keim Yoder from Goshen, Indiana, wrote the Advent at Home curriculum. Keim Yoder is a graduate of Hesston (KS) College and Tabor College, Hillsboro, KS, and is currently attending Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary, Elkhart, Indiana. She is the pastor for Christian formation at College Mennonite Church in Goshen, Indiana, and the theater director at Bethany Christian Schools, Goshen. She is the content writer for Building Faith, a website ministry of the Mennonite Early Childhood Network, and developed past editions of Advent at Home and Lent at Home.
"I absolutely love the restoration theme that the Leader planning team developed. Deeply relevant to both the season of Advent and to the times we live in, it's also tactile! In this all-age resource, there are many invitations for entry into the joy of restoration. Try the ones that call to you, and don't feel guilty about passing by the ones that don't! There are a lot of ideas here, and we hope there's something meaningful for people of many ages and life situations," she said.
Artist Erin Ramer from Parnell, Iowa, designed the guide. She is a graduate of Bethany Christian Schools and Goshen (IN) College. She is a freelance graphic designer and manages her local MCC Thrift Store, Crowded Closet, in Iowa City, Iowa. MEA Executive Director Michael Danner served as co-editor along with MEA Communications Coordinator Jolene VonGunten.
Michael Danner reflected on his own experiences learning about Jesus and Advent. "My parents and Sunday School teachers taught me about Jesus and why the Christmas season is special beyond presents and Christmas trees. Advent at Home leads individuals and families to connect with this deeper meaning."
"In a time when the world often seems adrift and apart from the Good News of Jesus, we hope this year's theme will resonate with many who are longing for healing and restoration," Danner said.
Advent at Home was originally created by Mennonite Church Canada in 2002. MC USA has developed the curriculum since 2016 as part of its Faith Formation emphasis. This year, Mennonite Education Agency (MEA) and MC USA communications staff partnered together to produce the resource. It is intended for all ages and life stages to deepen the experience of Christmas.
Mennonite Education Agency is headquartered in Elkhart, Indiana, and partners with Anabaptist-Mennonite educational institutions and programs affiliated with Mennonite Church USA to provide resources, networking, and support to school administrators, faculty, and staff. As the education agency of MC USA, MEA connects church and school together in a complementary and cooperative way to strengthen the church through education.