Abolition Advent Calendar offers reflections, practices to support freedom for all bodies

Now that Advent is here, prepare for some movement.

This year’s Abolition Advent Calendar includes weekly embodied spiritual practices every Monday of Advent. Each week, Coke Tani will offer guided embodied practices to accompany the theme “Freedom for All Bodies.” Tani is this year’s Abolition Advent artist and a liberatory spiritual director, body memoirist and teaching artist.

This is just one way to engage with the daily scriptures and meditations that the United Church of Christ’s Join the Movement for Racial Justice is publishing during Advent.

The Abolition Advent Calendar also includes daily written reflections from UCC national staff and affiliated ministries, artwork from Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative, prayers and actions steps for advocacy. People can still sign up to receive these through daily emails or follow along through UCC social media or the Join the Movement website.

Freedom for all bodies

Sharon Fennema, Join the Movement curator and storyteller, said the calendar’s theme is responding to a recognized need for abolition work around bodily autonomy, including reproductive justice, trans and nonbinary justice and disability justice.

“We were thinking about the in-between space as we gear up for the 2024 election year and more legislation is coming out around these issues,” she said. “How can we root ourselves in this vision that is freedom for all bodies?”

Image of a beehive with the words "All we have is each other: mutual aid."
The Abolition Advent Calendar features artwork from Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative, including “All We Have is Each Other” by N. O. Bonzo.

This week’s Movement Monday video explores the intersections of abolition, racial justice and reproductive justice. An audio-only version is also available weekly on UCC Cast through all major podcast apps.

The Rev. Erica Poellot, UCC minister of harm reduction and overdose prevention, offered a reflection for the first day of Advent, which began Dec. 3, exploring the possibility of experiencing the nearness of God by creating communities of care and justice for pregnant and parenting people.

Ripe time for abolition

Fennema hopes the abolition-based theme will offer nourishment and inspiration during the Advent season.

“The key component is we’re always building and imagining the new future we’re working toward,” she said. “It’s not just about dismantling the enslaving paradigms that we’re in, but it’s also about envisioning what comes after those. It feels like it’s always a ripe time in Advent to be dreaming of what is possible when love is made flesh. I hope that people get to immerse themselves in the very fleshiness of ‘love made flesh’ through the Abolition Advent Calendar this year.”

Sign up to receive the daily reflections here.

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Categories: United Church of Christ News

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