First Third Conversations

Finding Advent Rhythms

A blog post by Ben McDonald Coltvet

Image Credit: Advent Terminus - Happy Holiday 5 by Stuart Dootson on Flickr

Free time: It's one thing that easily gets "lost in the holidays" in my household. Time to play, time to be a family, time to be alone, time to sleep.

With all the schedules and commitments that overlap at the end of the year, it's easy to feel like our family's calendar is out of control.

How does this happen? Is it a result of poor planning or too much planning? Both?

One gift that

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Why Worship during Advent

Advent WreathA blog post by Timothy Siburg

Image Credit: Advent Wreath by Chris Wolff on Flickr

The Centrality of Worship

Worship is central to the church’s practice and understanding of who it is. We worship to praise and give thanks to God. In worship we join together as the body of Christ in song and the Word. We remember God’s promises and receive God’s promise of forgiveness and reconciliation.

It is important to worship in Advent as it is throughout the year. Advent, though, is a particular

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Lost in the Holidays

A blog post by Terri Elton

Image Credit: Christmas 2007 by Christina Rutz on Flickr

Some say, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year,” while others dread the season. Christmas, the heart of this season, is centered on Christ, and yet amidst the holidays Christ often gets pushed aside. Truth be told, it’s a hard time of the year to be a church leader…and it’s a hard time to keep the focus in our personal lives as well. So how is it we don’t get “lost

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By Dr. Terri Martinson Elton, Director of the Center for First Third Ministry at Luther Seminary

 I have a confession to make - I’m not much for waiting. Most of my days are filled with things to do and people to see, moving from one thing to another. Truth be told, I even try to choose the quickest line at the grocery store. I don’t like waiting, and I’m not very good at it. But when it comes to the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas, my attitude changes and

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