Advent 2023– In a time of disruption

Advent studies, but with the perspective of the church being ready for God.

Discover a fresh perspective on the future of rural churches as we bring together thought leaders, and passionate community members to lead us through Advent. Using the Old Testament Lectionary readings, over the course of 6 weeks, we’ll delve into critical topics shaping the destiny of our rural congregations in North East Victoria.  Join the conversation, connect with like-minded individuals, and co-create a brighter future for our rural churches.
Whether you’re a ministry worker, community member, or simply curious about the evolving role of churches in rural settings, these studies are your platform for
meaningful dialogue and collective growth. Streaming via Zoom to your church or to your home. Join as a small group or as an individual.

Tuesdays 7.30pm  from 7th Nov-12th Dec, repeated Wednesdays 2.30pm from 8th Nov-13th Dec

 Zoom link to all studies:

 Meeting ID: 883 1647 5623

Passcode: PNEV

Join in as a group or an individual

RSVP to 

Many options

This is a multi-faceted Advent study structure with options for group discussion, personal reflection, church services, and further reading.

1.   Weekly Themes:

Each week we will focus on a specific theme in line with the Old Testament lectionary reading for Advent.

2.   Study and Discussion:

On-line studies and discussion streaming via Zoom to your church or to your home. Join as a small group or as an individual. Congregations are encouraged to form small groups for discussion and sharing reflections on the weekly themes and daily readings.

3. Daily Readings and Reflections:

Daily Scripture readings, meditations, and reflective questions tied to the weekly theme.

Journal your thoughts, prayers, and insights each day, with an option to share in the Facebook Group.

4.  Online Retreat and Reflection:

Explore our suggested creative or reflective activities (e.g., art, poetry, nature walks) related to the weekly theme for personal contemplation and growth.

Explore suggestions for structured prayer routines, including prayers for Advent, guided prayer sessions, or prayer practices relevant to the weekly themes.

5. Resources for Church Services:

We will develop worship resources bases on the studies and encourage participation in Advent-focused church services or events, such as Advent liturgies, candle-lighting ceremonies, or special hymns.

 6. Facebook Group:

We will establish a Facebook Group where people can continue the discussion and share recommended books or articles related to the Advent themes.

7.  Community Outreach and Giving:

Engage in acts of kindness, generosity, or community service during Advent, aligning with the theme of giving and love.

8. Conclusion and Celebration:

The Advent studies will conclude with a celebration of the Christmas season, emphasizing the culmination of the Advent journey and the birth of Christ.

We will invite 5-8 people to share their stories of hope and some of the positive things that are happening in their congregation and community.


Week 1 Nov 7/8

Naming and understanding our problem.

Gereldine Leonard

Isaiah 40:28 The Lord is the everlasting God,  the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary.

We have a problem, and before we begin to try to solve the problem, we need to name and understand the problem.  We need also to consider that the problem we have, might just be God trying to get our attention.
Waving, not drowning!

Week 2 Nov 14/15

Awaiting Renewal: Cultivating Spiritual Longing in Rural Communities

Isaiah 64:1-9 “O LORD, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.”
Explore how rural churches can foster a sense of anticipation and preparation for God’s presence in an ever-changing world, drawing lessons from Isaiah 64:1-9.

Week 3 Nov 21/22

Charting a Course of Renewal for the Rural Church

Isaiah 40:1-11  “In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD.”

This session will delve into various aspects of preparation, including spiritual readiness, community engagement, and adapting to changing circumstances. It will provide practical strategies and inspirational insights for rural churches to navigate their future with a sense of purpose and anticipation

Week 4 Nov 28/29

Joining God’s mission: Empowering Rural Churches for Community Transformation.

Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11 “The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me; he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners; to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.”

We explore the role of rural churches in bringing about positive change in their communities.

Week 5 Dec 5/6

Foundations for the Future: God’s Covenant and the Rural Church.

2 Samuel 7:1-11, 16 “And in all my travels with Israel, did I ever say to any of the leaders I commanded to shepherd Israel, ‘Why haven’t you built me a house of cedar?’ “

We explore the concept of establishing strong foundations for the future of rural churches, reflecting on God’s covenant with David as described in 2 Samuel 7.

Week 6 Dec 12/13

Harvesting Hope: Community story telling.

Brian Spencer

We will invite 5-8 people to share their stories of hope and some of the positive things that are happening in their congregation and community.

Reflection and Synthesis

Summarize the insights and discussions from the previous weeks.

Discuss key takeaways and potential action points for the future.