25 September 2014

How good are you at watching and waiting?

In a 'want it all, want it now' culture, the art of watching and waiting can get lost in the melee of consumerism and instant gratification. Yet Advent can also bring us closer to God, and to the effects of God's justice and love in the world today. 

Sometimes watching and waiting are forced upon us by others. Raheela and her husband Irfan know what that means. They fled persecution in Pakistan with their family and were granted asylum in the UK in May 2006. They were warmly welcomed by the Methodist Church and now work in Wales with asylum seekers and refugees of different faiths, in a project supported by the 
Mission in Britain Fund. Their story features in the free worship resources for this year's Advent Offering. 

Despite being forced to watch and wait, they found God and God's people with them, supporting them. That experience led them to give themselves in the service of others, accompanying people as they too watch and wait. The Advent Offering is a chance for Christians to worship God and reflect on the transformational work of the Fund in communities across Britain. 

"During Advent, Christians celebrate a distinct kind of waiting, when we look fear, desperation and human need in the eye, but in the sure hope that God is coming in justice and love," said the Revd Ken Howcroft, President of the Methodist Conference. "But, if we're honest, Advent can too easily become a time of frantic rushing around, getting ready for Christmas." 

"We can get so caught up in the busyness that we forget about the plight of those around us who need help and support," added Gill Dascombe, Vice-President of the Conference. "This year's Advent Offering is great opportunity to make our watching and waiting more meaningful and a timely reminder that Christ's love and our cash can combine to transform human lives." 

The free 
downloadable resources for this year's Advent Offering are available in English and Welsh and include: 
  • Leader's notes
  • Advert Offering Service
  • Advent Candle liturgies
People can also order the following resources directly from Methodist Publishing online at  www.methodistpublishing.org.uk  or by calling 0845 017 8220 (a £2.50 postage charge applies):
  • Advent Offering poster
  • Advent Offering leaflets
  • Advent Offering gift envelopes (NEW)
  • 'Thank you' bookmarks


  1. Ken and Gill are available for interview.
  2. Watch a video about the work of the Mission in Britain Fund here.

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