Advent Resources 2019

Already the sales have begun.  Retailers are beginning early to compete for our money, our time, our attention.  But the prophet Isaiah calls us to a different perspective of this time before the Christmas celebration. “The lord is coming,” says Isaiah.  “Prepare the way for him” (40:3). Clear out the clutter of your life.  Put aside those things that distract you from receiving God.

Blessedly, the church provides for us the season of Advent.  Advent calls us to slow down and take time to reflect on how we will receive the great gift of God coming to dwell among us.  Advent asks us to make room for him, to anticipate his coming with joyful reverence.

During this Advent season we invite you to engage one or more of the following resources as part of your preparation. Or simply determine to sit quietly for a period of time each day and consider what it means to receive Emmanuel – God with us.  

Advent begins December 1.


Prepare the Way Advent Study
This four-week study looks more deeply into the Old Testament readings for the Sundays in Advent. In this year’s lectionary readings, Isaiah calls his people to turn away from things not of God and instead “walk in the light of the Lord” (2:5). Through this Advent study, written by the Rt. Rev. Gary Lillibridge, we become familiar with Isaiah’s words and call and apply them to our own lives. Subscribe to the study at and receive a weekly post guiding you to that week’s lesson in text and audio, along with questions for reflection. The study is especially appropriate for small groups and individuals.
Find the study here.

Advent Word on Social Media
For the sixth year in a row, #AdventWord will gather prayers via a global, online Advent calendar. Virginia Theological Seminary is offering meditations and images that can be experienced with the #AdventWord website, direct daily emails, or on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. American Sign Language videos will be posted on YouTube. This year, meditations will be available in English, Spanish, and Haitian Creole.
Sign up to participate at


Digital Invitation Kit for Congregations (available in English, Spanish, and French)
Continuing the invitation to connect “The Way of Love, Practices for a Jesus-Centered Life” more deeply to the seasons of the year, The Episcopal Church has developed free and downloadable resources for congregations, dioceses, and communities of faith.  An Advent Digital Invitation Kit is available now to help congregations invite people to enter into this season of preparation.
The theme of the Advent Digital Invitation Kit is inspired by Mark 1:3 and Isaiah 40:3 “the voice of one crying out in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight,’” and includes: a customizable poster, postcard, and flyer; a social media-ready graphic; and a Facebook cover image.
Find it at

Journeying the Way of Love Advent curriculum and Advent calendar (available in English and Spanish).This four-week Advent curriculum and Advent calendar from the Episcopal Church is pegged to readings and themes from the first two chapters of the Gospel of Luke that incorporates Way of Love practices and the nativity/infancy narrative of Jesus to enable participants to grow spiritually during this season of preparation.
Find it at



Epiphany Study from Migration Ministries

Episcopal Migration Ministries is offering an Epiphany Curriculum, which includes free resources to oversee a faithful and meaningful Epiphany 2018.

“After the celebration and joy of Christmas, the Church turns its attention to the Epiphany of Christ, and a season when we remember time and again how God is made manifest in the world,” noted the Rev. Canon E. Mark Stevenson, Director of Episcopal Migration Ministries. “In these important days, Episcopal Migration Ministries invites congregations and faith communities to reflect on the rich history of the Episcopal Church’s work among refugees, as we have answered collectively the revealed Son of God’s call to be his ministers in a hurting world.”

Designed for Adult Christian Formation, the six-week Epiphany Curriculum is ideal for congregations, individuals, adult forums, discussion groups, and other church-based gatherings. “Participants will come away with a deeper understanding of Episcopal Migration Ministries, refugee resettlement, the stories of our new American neighbors, and how God is calling each of us into this work,” Stevenson said.

Click here for the Epiphany Curriculum.

“It was the story of the Holy Family’s flight into Egypt as refugees that inspired Episcopalians in Southern Ohio in the 1930s to offer refuge to those fleeing Nazi Europe,” Stevenson added. “So, too, do we hear that same story this Epiphany season and recommit ourselves to ministry among the 65 million children, women, and men who have fled their homes in our days because of violence or persecution. Each one of these children of God is a person with a name and a story, each with hopes and dreams, and all deserving of peace and opportunity. Through this educational resource, Episcopalians can come to know these stories, offer possibility to those hopes, and provide for the realization of such peace and opportunity.”

Episcopal Migration Ministries is a ministry of the Episcopal Church, and is one of nine national agencies responsible for resettling refugees in the United States in partnership with the government. Episcopal Migration Ministries currently has 22 affiliate offices in 17 states.


Reflections magazine – Engaging Scripture

How can we love God if we don’t know God. And how can we know God if we don’t know God’s Word. The Spring/Summer 2018 issue of Reflections explores the many ways we can engage scripture. Read it online here:

The magazine is also produced in print copies that are delivered to every household in the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas and beyond. To be added to the mailing list, email

Overview of our Pages

Welcome, come in and browse our pages. Here you will find studies suited for congregations, small groups, and individuals.  All of our studies are thoughtfully prepared and carefully written, with emphasis on individual and group reflection leading to personal spiritual growth.



Close up on old book on colorful bokeh background

Bible Studies

These in-depth studies bring new insights that will allow readers to study and learn from the biblical writers in ways that are applicable to our everyday lives. Each study begins with an introduction on the book being explored and sets the context and background. The studies are generally done in several-week sessions and so are rich in content and meaning.


For links to all studies, click here.

  • Seek First the Kingdom – The Kingdom of Heaven in Matthew
    One of the main purposes of the Gospel of Matthew is to serve as a guide for Christians in living fearlessly into the ways of Jesus Christ. The Kingdom of Heaven is the vision that anchors this teaching.
  • Parables in the Gospel of Luke – Proclaiming the Kingdom
    Stories from ordinary life that reveal the nature of God’s Kingdom. In these stories we find there is no length to which God will not go to redeem his people.
  • The Gospel of Mark – The Beginning of the Good News
    Mark conveys a dramatic sense of urgency, challenging Christians to remain resolutely steadfast in their radical commitment as disciples of Christ.
  • Colossians – Clothed with Christ’s Love: the Epistle to the Colossians
    Paul expressly interprets the death and resurrection of Christ as already accomplishing God’s redemption of the entire cosmos.
  • Philippians – Love Overflowing: Paul’s Epistle to the Philippians
    One of Paul’s most beautiful and certainly one of his most powerful , yet practical, letters for Christians then and now.
  • 1 and 2 Corinthians – “Christ in Me, Christ in You”: An Introduction to Paul and His Letters
    Paul’s letter makes powerful connections between his teaching and our daily lives as individuals, as members of a Christian community, and in the role of church leader.
  • Ephesians – Rooted and Grounded in Love
    This letter offers us an opportunity to read, study, and reflect on insights into what God has accomplished for the entire world in the person of Christ.
  • Galatians and Thessalonians – “Gospeling” the Faithfulness of Christ Among the Gentiles
    Helpful insights into the way Paul nurtured the growth and health of congregations he knew well, and how he taught them, over time, about the daily life of faithfulness and discipleship.
  • Romans – Welcome One Another Just as Christ Has Welcomed You
    In the early decades following the death and resurrection of Jesus, local churches struggled painfully with how to live together peacefully.


Seasonal Studies

These studies are geared for specific seasons of the Church year, but the content is applicable any time.  The writers include the Rev. Drs. John Lewis and Jane Patterson and others. Studies frequently include audio recordings and reflections – in text and audio format – from clergy and lay persons from around the diocese.


For links to all the studies, click here.

  • Their Eyes Were Opened – Easter Season 2016
    The season of Easter – or the Great Fifty Days of Easter, as the season is sometimes called – begins on Easter Sunday and lasts until the day of Pentecost.
  • God Claims Us All – Epiphany 2016
    Epiphany marks the revelation, to the Magi and to us, that God is a God of all people and that God calls us to Himself, endows us with certain vocations, and asks us to use them for the good of all mankind.
  • Mary, the Mother of God – Advent 2015
    Presented by Brother James Dennis, the study covers Mary in Scripture and history. It is in audio and PowerPoint (in Adobe Acrobat) format.
  • Practicing Lent 2015
    The study focuses on five spiritual practices: prayer, repentance, love of neighbor, fasting and simplicity, and connecting to the saints.
  • Following Jesus: An Invitation to Discipleship – Lent 2014
    Explores a different aspect of Christian discipleship each week. The topics are modeled upon Christ and his teachings and include: follower, worshiper, witness, neighbor, forgiver/healer, prophet, and steward.
  • Watch and Pray – Advent 2014
    Looks in-depth at the lectionary readings for the four Sundays in Advent – the Old Testament, New Testament and Gospel readings – in 2014 (year B in the lectionary cycle).


Reflections Magazine Online

Published twice a year in print and online, this spiritual formation magazine explores in-depth topics that affect today’s Christians. Most articles include questions for personal or group reflection.

For links to all editions, click here



  • Music as Spiritual Formation
    Music is the “quickening art” said Kant, and it forms us spiritually without our even knowing it. Music recalls us to ourselves even in our old age when all else is forgotten.
  • The Way of Reconciliation
    There is a difference between giving up and surrendering.  Giving up says, “I quit.”  Surrender says, “I accept.”  I accept the circumstances of my life as it is today.  I accept that I do not have the control over it that I thought I had. I accept that God is aware and walks with me.
  • Grace: How Shall We Respond?
    In this issue of Reflections our writers reflect on their own experiences of recognizing God’s grace. Sometimes that’s in suffering, sometimes in the visit of a determined dog, sometimes when Easter eggs produce more than chocolate candy. We invite your own reflection of God’s grace in your life and your consideration of how to respond to it in gratefulness.
  • The Practice of Everyday Contemplation
    The contemplative life is one of awareness. It is focusing on the thing that is in front of us right now. It is listening to the sounds we hear, seeing what our eyes reveal, feeling what our bodies are feeling. It is being where we are right now, not where we were yesterday or might be tomorrow.
  • Abundant Life
    Some say that God gives us trials and tribulations to make us stronger. I think that God takes the stories that life gives us and shows us how to use them to become stronger.
  • A Serious Call to Christian Vocation
    Such is the nature of vocation; we are called, we are given gifts, we are set in a particular place at a particular time, to serve God’s people (that would be all people).
  • Breaking Away
    How often in life do we limp along, recognizing that we are running out of energy and subsisting on daily jump-starts?
  • Communion of Saints
    The notion that all who are in Christ – living or dead – are alive in Christ is a mark of Anglican theology.
  • Sacred Spaces
    Once my experience of holy had been confined to a particular place and particular people – but in fact it had really been the launching pad for a spiritual journey that has taken turns I could never have seen.
  • Teach us to Pray
    As the sun moves across the earth, someone is always approaching his prayer bench and someone is always ending his prayers. Like a river that circles the world, we dip into this stream as we open our prayer books and as we close them. The voice of God’s people is ever before him, ever imploring his mercy, ever praising him.
  • The Holy Spirit
    Then the priest lifted Casey from the chair, set him on the floor, and off Casey ran, barefoot, toward his parents. “Mommy,” he shouted, “I got my feet washed. Just like Jesus.”
  • The Kingdom of God
    If Christ had been there – and I, personally, think he was – he would have said something like, “The Kingdom of God is in your midst.”
  • What we can still learn from the saints
    As St. Paul looks at it, the saints are everyone who’s been baptized, the entire membership of the Christian community.
  • Spiritual Practices – Living the Gift
    Spiritual practices are ways we become awake and stay awake to God.