Extravagance UCC to share hope, joy of Advent with 90-second sermons
During the season of Advent, Extravagance United Church of Christ, the non-geographic online congregation launched at General Synod 2013, is proclaiming the message of hope and joy through a series of short videos.
“We felt like there was a lot of information out in the social media universe on Christianity, but there was not as much on progressive Christianity,” said the Rev. Jo Hudson, pastor of Extravagance UCC. “We wanted to add our voice to the progressive voices on social media to counter the angry views of Christianity, and give people a message of faith, love and humanity.”
Eight videos, called “90-Second Sermons,” will be released this Christmas season — one each Saturday during Advent, on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, on New Year’s Day and on Epiphany (Jan. 6), offering contemplative reflections to online viewers. The first video will post on Saturday, Nov. 28 and they will be accessible on the Extravagance UCC website, its Facebook page and YouTube.
Beginning this year on Nov. 29 and ending Dec. 24, Advent is the season observed, mostly by Western Churches, as the time of waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus Christ on Christmas.
“We heard about someone doing 90-second sermons and talked about the challenge that would be for a pastor to say something in 90 seconds, we decided to take the challenge and we decided Advent was the right time,” Hudson said. “Our hope is that people will like and share them, and also that people will respond with their own ideas or reflections as we go through the season.”
The content of the sermons will follow the narratives of the birth of Christ, borrowing portions of scripture (such as the story of Zacharia and the announcement of the annunciation to Mary) on which to reflect.
“We’re not trying to make them slick and polished, and we’re recording them on our phones, but we are trying to talk from our heart about being a Christian in this time,” she said.
Hudson also shared that Extravagance will host a Dinner Church on Dec. 21, often called the Longest Night (Winter Solstice). This is the third dinner church Extravagance has hosted.
“We are inviting people to join us for a meal and we’ll have a liturgy on our website,” Hudson said. “If you are one person, or two people or a full table, you can share a meal with people all over the country and reflect on the Longest Night. We’ll remind people that we need to be thoughtful of others and where they are on their faith.”
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