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  Echoing the Word November 2014  
  Vol. 13 No. 5, The Advent Journey    
Advent: God's Journey to Us
Patricia Thomas reflects on God becoming a human being in Jesus. During advent we remember that God journeys to us, with us and within us. It is an affirmation of the human condition. We are invited into this journey of growing deeper in relationship with God.
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The Advent Journey
Journey is a popular Christian metaphor, often symbolised in processions, marches and pilgrimages long and short. Life is a dynamic process of change, transition and growth; a process of conversion and transformation as we move towards God and allow God to move towards us.
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 Reviews & Resources
Reviews & Resources icon
Children's Literature
Jan Grajczonek reviews The Great Expedition by Peter Carnavas, Ming’s Adventures in the Forbidden City by Lin Jian, and Rivertime by Trace Balla.
Resources for Religious Education
Sharon Freeman reviews Life in Bible Times by Tim Dowley, Catholic Identity or Identities? Refounding Ministries in Chaotic Times by Gerald Arbuckle and Celebrating the Gospels: Activities and Prayers for Sunday Cycles A, B, C by Gaynell Cronin.
 Social Justice
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Journeys of Hope
Peter Arndt reminds us that Christians are people of hope. He looks at significant protest marches and encourages teachers to explore these with students. These marches can symbolise a hopeful journey towards justice and peace.
 For the Catechist
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Teaching Tips: Advent Meditation Dance
Using the Taize Chant, Waiting for the Lord
Michele Purcell explains the use of dance in teaching children about Advent. She provides detailed step by step instructions for a dance to the chant, Wait for the Lord.
The Epiphany:
The Journey of the Magi
Pina Ford, reflects on T.S. Eliot’s poem, The Journey of the Magi, and looks at the significance of the Epiphany for the Christian Journey. As seekers of God we are often in times of transition – getting somewhere but not quite there yet.
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Songs for Advent and Christmas
Peter Olley offers suggestions of hymns and songs that can be used for the Advent and Christmas seasons. He places these under the themes of Prepare, Wait, Promise, Journey, Liberation and Salvation.
 Religious Literacy
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The Advent Joureny
Jan Grajczonek uses the children’s book, The Great Expedition, to help students explore the concept of journey. She presents a teaching process that links journey, gifts and Christmas while engaging the students’ imagination.
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The Christmas Stories:
Untangling Some of the Knots
Stuart Moran reminds us of the distinct infancy narratives in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. He begins to untangle the two Christmas stories popular culture has harmonised into one neat story.
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Advent: A Time of Preparation and Remembering
Tony Densley makes the important link between the infancy narrative of Matthew’s Gospel and the Exodus journey of the Israelites. These movements are echoed today in people seeking asylum throughout the world.
  Liturgies & Activities
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Advent: What Are We Waiting For?
Beth Nolen’s learning activity looks at waiting and preparing for Christmas during Advent. She offers ideas of ways to prepare for Christmas.
Celebrating the Journey of the Year
Jennifer Callanan has put together a reflective ritual for students to remember their journey through the year. This is connected to the Christmas story, the coming of the promised messiah.
Joseph and Mary Travelling to Bethlehem
Tosca Galluzzo looks at Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem before exploring ways we can “visit Jesus in Bethlehem”. Using wondering questions the students imagine their journey to Bethlehem.
Scripture Detectives: Who Were the Magi
Beth Nolen poses questions to help students uncover what the Gospel of Matthew actually tells us about the Magi and to explore further their significance.
The Shepherds and Angels
Tosca Galluzzo focuses on the Gospel of Luke’s infancy narrative, telling the story of Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem and the shepherd’s visiting Jesus. Children have the opportunity to hear the stories and become familiar with the various characters.
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