Category Archives: Advent

Help Forward Movement make selections for AdventWord 2024

Text reads "AdventWord" in bold purple letters. In smaller letters underneath, text reads "from Forward Movement." Background is a gray starburst, Forward Movement's logo.Forward Movement invites you to participate in selecting the daily prompt words for AdventWord 2024. AdventWord is an inspirational online Advent calendar featuring a daily prompt word chosen from the Sunday Lectionary readings.

Visit this online form to make your submissions by June 28, 2024. The form includes convenient links to the lectionary readings from which participants may choose and five fields to submit suggested words from the readings.

Forward Movement will announce the complete list of prompt words for AdventWord 2024 later this summer.

AdventWord is an offering of Forward Movement, a ministry of the Episcopal Church. Forward Movement provides this resource free of charge, thanks to the generosity of our donor community. Learn more, see past words, and donate at

Forward Today: Advent confessions of a clergy spouse

Photo by KaLisa Veer on Unsplash

Dear friends in Christ: We’re pleased to welcome Lindsay Barrett-Adler, our Director of Development, as our guest author this week.

Last Sunday, I heard my parish priest (and husband) say the following words to begin A Service of Advent Lessons and Carols: “Beloved in Christ, in this season of Advent, let it be our care and delight to prepare ourselves to hear again the message of the Angels, and in heart and mind to go even unto Bethlehem, to see the Babe lying in a manger.”

I have been preparing many things lately—decorations, presents, school break babysitters, cookie exchanges, and all kinds of Christmas fun for my family. And that’s in addition to my paid ministry here at Forward Movement. Sitting with our two-year-old in the church soft space, I continued to reflect on Paul’s (the husband’s) invitation to prepare my heart and mind for Christmas, now only a few weeks away. Did he just add one more task to my ever-expanding list?

And this can easily become the refrain of my Advent as a clergy spouse. More services, more meetings, more parties, more commitments, and the ever-present pressure to deliver a picture-perfect Christmas morning at the end of it all. If anything, church can sometimes feel like an extra burden at an already frenzied time of the year. I could get so much done in that hour on Sunday morning!

Putting the third dozen batch of cookies into the freezer, I imagine how Martha must have felt when she and Mary welcomed Christ into their home. I have been so busy and so stressed, so worried about all the things on that to-do list. Would Jesus look at my priorities and say I am giving value to the most important things? In the brief time left in Advent, will I choose “the better part,” or will I continue to cling to stress as a status symbol and conversation starter, letting that to-do list monopolize my heart and mind?

I choose to let it be my care and delight to prepare myself for the remainder of Advent and hope you will too. Beloved in Christ, let us go to Bethlehem, letting fall by the wayside those things that distract us from the journey ahead. We each have the opportunity, with each new day, to do as Baruch invites: “Put on the robe of the righteousness from God; put on your head the diadem of the glory of the Everlasting.” There are so many ways to prepare in the time left, from taking up a habit of prayer to fasting and spending time with God in scripture. Whatever my new Advent practice ends up being, it will be done not with obligation and guilt, but with care and delight.

Yours faithfully,

Lindsay Barrett-Adler
Director of Development

P.S. We hope you enjoy Forward Today, one of the many free ministries offered by Forward Movement. You can make a special, year-end gift to inspire disciples and empower evangelists by clicking here.

More from our ministry:

Pray on the go with our podcasts or mobile app

Pray with Mary and Martha: Bible Women

Explore our flagship devotional, Forward Day by Day

A visual devotional for the season: AdventWord

Forward Today: Seasons of expectation

Note: As we continue to pray for healing for the Rev. Canon Scott Gunn, this weekly message will feature guest writers from the Forward Movement staff and board of directors. Today’s message comes from Margaret Ellsworth, Forward Movement’s Marketing Coordinator.

The AdventWord of the day is “mountains.” Here’s the photo I shared today.

As we enter December tomorrow, I’m acutely aware that I am living in two calendars at once. On the cultural calendar, we are well into the “Christmas season.” Twinkling lights and red coffee cups, just to name two signs of the season, have been around for a few weeks already. But in the church’s calendar, we are just beginning our season of Advent, our liturgical new year.

In his book Inwardly Digest, Derek Olsen points out how the church calendar helps shape us in the Christian affections: “emotional habits, patterns of feeling that we choose and cultivate.” Each season of the year highlights one of the affections that we might practice their patterns of feeling. “We focus on particular affections as we move through particular seasons,” Olsen writes, “in order that these patterns may become features of our long-term way of being in the presence of God.”

The affection of Advent, according to Olsen, is “watchful expectation.” Expectation is a key emotional habit of the Cultural Christmas season too – in a different way. The expectation of “holiday magic” in our decorations and activities. The expectation of family togetherness, or end-of-year achievement at work. And of course, the expectation to give or receive the perfect gift. 

These expectations can often feel, as Anne Lamott puts it, as “resentments waiting to happen.” Add “watchful” to expectation, though, and the focus shifts. It’s not as much about what we do (or fail to do); rather, it’s about noticing what God is doing, and what God will do.

I’m grateful in this season for AdventWord, which is helping me watch for Christ this week. AdventWord takes words from their familiar context, in the readings for the Sundays of Advent, and asks where YOU see these words in your world. I love seeing how people all over social media are interpreting the words. And when I look for my own photo of the day, I’m watchful. I’m noticing where God is throughout my day. 

AdventWord is only one of the ways we can lean into this season of watchful expectation. It’s a great time to begin (or begin again) in praying the Daily Office, as our liturgical calendar turns over. Or join our newest Forward Day by Day author tomorrow as the new month’s meditations begin. 

We can’t avoid the cultural Christmas season entirely, and truth be told, I wouldn’t want to – it’s a wonderful time of year. But I hope this year I can lay down the expectations it presents, and watch instead for what God is doing in the world.

Yours faithfully,

Margaret Ellsworth
Marketing Coordinator

More from our ministry:

Find gifts for the disciples and evangelists in your life with our Holiday Gift Guide

Look for God’s work in creation: The Creation Care Bible Challenge

From Grow Christians: Expanding Our View of Gratitude

New from ChurchNext: Introducing the Quaker Tradition 

AdventWord: Announcing the daily prompt words for 2022 | Palabras que invitan a la reflexión

Forward Movement has announced the 2022 reflection words for AdventWord, a global online advent calendar and community of disciples. For nearly a decade AdventWord has inspired followers of Jesus who wish to add an accessible prayer practice to their daily routine during this holy season.

Daily meditations and images—inspired by a prompt word selected from the daily lectionary readings—will be released at, beginning Sunday, November 27.

Participants can sign up to receive this daily message, in English and Spanish, by email or by following AdventWord on social media.

Many followers join the creativity each year by sharing their own personal reflections across social media using #AdventWord. Participants respond with photos, written responses, crafts, drawings, poems, found art, and other creative expressions inspired by the day’s selected word.

List of the 2022 AdventWord prompts

“This year we enlisted volunteer community members to help with the selection of prompt words from the daily lectionary readings,” said Richelle Thompson, managing editor at Forward Movement. “The online gathering of dozens of AdventWord community members was an inspiring way to kick off the planning for 2022 and a strong reminder that AdventWord is community-driven.”

All-in-one graphics, bulletin inserts and printable calendars of the 2022 prompt words are available for download at

The reflection prompt words for AdventWord 2022 are:

  • 27-Nov: Walk | Caminar
  • 28-Nov: Together | Juntos
  • 29-Nov: Teach | Enseñar
  • 30-Nov: Mountains | Montañas
  • 1-Dec: Make | Hacer
  • 2-Dec: Ready | Preparado
  • 3-Dec: Unity | Unidad
  • 4-Dec: Delight | Deleite
  • 5-Dec: Rain | Lluvia
  • 6-Dec: Welcome | Acogida
  • 7-Dec: Winnowing | Zarandear
  • 8-Dec: Breathe | Respirar
  • 9-Dec: Fire | Fuego
  • 10-Dec: Flourish | Florecer
  • 11-Dec: Messenger | Mensajero
  • 12-Dec: Wilderness | Desierto
  • 13-Dec: Stranger | Forastero
  • 14-Dec: Beloved | Amados
  • 15-Dec: Thirsty | Sediento
  • 16-Dec: Traveler | Viajeros
  • 17-Dec: Majesty | Majestad
  • 18-Dec: Purify | Purificar
  • 19-Dec: Sign | Señales
  • 20-Dec: Hear | Oír
  • 21-Dec: Obedience | Obediencia
  • 22-Dec: Choose | Elegir
  • 23-Dec: Restore | Restaurar
  • 24-Dec: Birth | Nacimiento
  • 25-Dec: Emmanuel | Emanuel


Follow AdventWord for more information and updates:


AdventWord: Palabras que invitan a la reflexión

Forward Movement acaba de anunciar las palabras de AdventWord para el Adviento de 2022. AdventWord es una iniciativa anual que incluye un calendario de Adviento y una comunidad de discípulos que se enfocan en una palabra diaria que invita a la reflexión.

Por casi una década AdventWord viene inspirando a los seguidores y seguidoras de Jesús que desean hacer la meditación parte de su rutina diaria durante el tiempo de Adviento.

Las meditaciones y las imágenes diarias provienen de las lecturas del leccionario diario. Las comenzaremos a publicar en a partir del domingo 27 de noviembre.

Los participantes pueden inscribirse para recibir un mensaje diario, en inglés y en español, por email o siguiendo a AdventWord en las redes sociales.

Muchos seguidores se unen al proceso creativo y comparten sus propias reflexiones en las redes sociales usando la etiqueta #AdventWord. Y los participantes responden con fotos, escritos, manualidades, dibujos, poemas, arte creada por otros, y otras expresiones creativas inspiradas por la palabra del día.

las palabras de AdventWord para el Adviento de 2022

Richelle Thompson, editora gerente de Forward Movement, declaró: “Este año logramos enlistar a voluntarios que nos ayudaron a elegir las palabras tomadas de las lecturas del leccionario diario. Reunimos en línea a docenas de miembros de la comunidad AdventWord, lo que fue una manera muy inspiradora de lanzar el planeamiento de 2022, y nos recordó vívidamente que AdventWord es un programa de participación comunitaria”.

Se pueden descargar boletines y calendarios para imprimir con las palabras de 2022 en este enlace:

Las palabras seleccionadas para AdventWord en 2022 son las siguientes:

  • 27-Nov: Walk | Caminar
  • 28-Nov: Together | Juntos
  • 29-Nov: Teach | Enseñar
  • 30-Nov: Mountains | Montañas
  • 1-Dec: Make | Hacer
  • 2-Dec: Ready | Preparado
  • 3-Dec: Unity | Unidad
  • 4-Dec: Delight | Deleite
  • 5-Dec: Rain | Lluvia
  • 6-Dec: Welcome | Acogida
  • 7-Dec: Winnowing | Zarandear
  • 8-Dec: Breathe | Respirar
  • 9-Dec: Fire | Fuego
  • 10-Dec: Flourish | Florecer
  • 11-Dec: Messenger | Mensajero
  • 12-Dec: Wilderness | Desierto
  • 13-Dec: Stranger | Forastero
  • 14-Dec: Beloved | Amados
  • 15-Dec: Thirsty | Sediento
  • 16-Dec: Traveler | Viajeros
  • 17-Dec: Majesty | Majestad
  • 18-Dec: Purify | Purificar
  • 19-Dec: Sign | Señales
  • 20-Dec: Hear | Oír
  • 21-Dec: Obedience | Obediencia
  • 22-Dec: Choose | Elegir
  • 23-Dec: Restore | Restaurar
  • 24-Dec: Birth | Nacimiento
  • 25-Dec: Emmanuel | Emanuel


Para más información y noticias sobre AdventWord, seguir estos enlaces:



2021 AdventWord prompt words announced

For the eighth year in a row, #AdventWord will gather prayers via a global, online advent calendar.

Forward Movement, the new home of AdventWord, will offer 28 daily meditations and images during this holy season beginning Sunday, November 28. 

Gathering a worldwide community, #AdventWord provides a daily meditation, visual image, and invites your personal reflections via social media to share your own Advent journey. Thousands have participated each year, responding to the words with photos, written responses, crafts, drawings, poems, found art, and Holy Spirit-filled posts. 

“A wonderful diversity of our church is witnessed in the reflections this year,” says AdventWord program director, Sarah Stonesifer Boylan. “The beauty of AdventWord stretches out to include a myriad of voices each Advent. I am looking forward to seeing the prayer-filled responses!”

A new Advent devotional published by Forward Movement, Promise & Praise, corresponds with the daily reflection words of AdventWord. The book features reflections from Scott Gunn, Miriam McKenney, Hugo Olaiz, and Richelle Thompson, with special contributors Michael B. Curry and Lisa Kimball. Promise & Praise is available for sale at, along with a reading sample.

The Advent Sunday lectionary readings inspire the word list for #AdventWord. Discover the visual and written meditations and give yourself the opportunity to dive deeper into the stories of this waiting season. 

The prompts for 2021 #AdventWord are: 

November 28: Promise

November 29: Strength

November 30: Soul

December 1: Path 

December 2: Justice

December 3: Fulfill

December 4: Heart

December 5: Praise

December 6: Everlasting

December 7: Offering

December 8: Messenger

December 9: Splendor

December 10: Repent

December 11: Compassion

December 12: Expectation

December 13: Share

December 14: Exult

December 15: Stir

December 16: Gladness

December 17: Bountiful

December 18: Sing

December 19: Blessed

December 20: Feed

December 21: Generations

December 22: Magnify

December 23: Flock

December 24: Greeting

December 25:  Child

The #AdventWord Images and meditations can be experienced through, direct daily emails, as well as on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and ASL videos via YouTube.

Meditations will also be available in English, Spanish, and French via email and on

Find Promise & Praise on

For more information:

Contact us by email at


En español

Por el octavo año siguiente, #PalabrasDelAdviento recogerá oraciones a través de un calendario global, en línea, del adviento. Forward Movement, el nuevo hogar de #PalabrasDelAdviento, ofrecerá 28 meditaciones diarias e imágenes durante esta santa temporada, empezando el domingo, 28 de noviembre.

Reuniendo una comunidad global, #PalabrasDelAdviento provee diariamente una meditación, un imagen visual, e invita tus reflexiones personales a través de las redes sociales para compartir tu propio camino por el Adviento. Miles han participado cada año, respondiendo a las palabras con fotos, respuestas escritas, artesanía, dibujos, poemas, arte descubierto, y publicaciones llenas del Espíritu Santo.

“Se ve una magnífica diversidad de nuestra iglesia en las reflexiones este año,” dice la directora del programa de #PalabrasDelAdviento, Sarah Stonesifer Boylan. “La belleza de #PalabrasDelAdviento se estira para incluir una gran variedad de voces cada Adviento. ¡Tengo ganas de ver las respuestas llenas de oración!”

Una nuevo devocional para el Adviento publicado por Forward Movement, Promise & Praise, corresponde con las palabras de las reflexiones diarias de PalabrasDelAdviento. El libro presenta reflexiones de Scott Gunn, Miriam McKenney, Hugo Olaiz, y Richelle Thompson, con contribuyentes especiales Michael B. Curry y Lisa Kimball. Promise & Praise está disponible para la venta en, junto con un fragmento.

Las lecturas dominicales del leccionario para el Adviento inspiran la lista de palabras para #PalabrasDelAdviento. Descubre las meditaciones visuales y escritas y date la oportunidad sumergirte en las historias de esta temporada de espera.

Las palabras para #PalabrasDelAdviento 2021 son:

Noviembre 28: Promesa
Noviembre 29: Fortaleza
Noviembre 30: Alma
Diciembre 1: Sendero
Diciembre 2 Justicia
Diciembre 3: Cumplir
Diciembre 4: Corazón
Diciembre 5: Alabanza
Diciembre 6: Eterno
Diciembre 7: Ofrenda
Diciembre 8: Mensajero
Diciembre 9: Esplendor
Diciembre 10: Arrepentirse
Diciembre 11: Compasión
Diciembre 12: Esperanza
Diciembre 13: Compartir
Diciembre 14: Regocijarse
Diciembre 15: Avivar
Diciembre 16: Alegría
Diciembre 17: Abundante
Diciembre 18: Cantar
Diciembre 19: Bendita
Diciembre 20: Apacentar
Diciembre 21: Generaciones
Diciembre 22: Magnificar
Diciembre 23: Redil
Diciembre 24: Saludo
Diciembre 25: Niño

Los imágenes y las meditaciones de #PalabrasDelAdviento pueden ser experimentados por, correos electrónicos diarios y directos, y también por Facebook, Instagram, y Twitter, y videos de ASL a través de YouTube. Las meditaciones también serán disponibles en inglés, español, y francés, a través de email y en Encuentra Promise & Praise en

En français

Pour la huitième année consécutive, #MotsDelAvent va recueillir des prières par le biais d’un calendrier de l’Avent mondial et en ligne. Le Forward Movement, le nouvel hôte de MotDeL’Avent, offrira quotidiennement des méditations et des images pendant les 28 jours de cette saison sainte commençant le dimanche 28 novembre.

Rassemblant une communauté mondiale, #MotsDelAvent propose tous les jours une méditation, une image, et invite vos réflexions personnelles par le biais des réseaux sociaux afin de partager votre parcours personnel pendant l’Avent. Des milliers de personnes participent chaque année, réagissant aux mots avec des photos, des réponses écrites, des œuvres artisanales, des dessins, des poèmes, des découvertes artistiques et des messages remplis du Saint-Esprit.

« Nous assistons à une merveilleuse diversité de notre Église dans les réflexions de cette année » déclare Sarah Stonesifer Boylan, directrice du programme MotDeL’Avent. « La beauté de MotDeL’Avent s’étend pour inclure une myriade de voix lors de chaque saison de l’Advent. J’ai hâte de voir toutes les réponses remplies de prières ! »

Un nouveau livre de piété pour l’Avent publié par le Forward Movement, Promise & Praise, résonne avec les paroles de réflexion quotidiennes de MotDeL’Avent. Ce livre présente les réflexions de Scott Gunn, Miriam McKenney, Hugo Olaiz et Richelle Thompson, avec en contributeurs spéciaux Michael B. Curry et Lisa Kimball. Promise & Praise est disponible à la vente sur, avec un échantillon de lecture.

Les lectures du lectionnaire du dimanche de l’Avent inspirent la liste de mots de #MotsDelAvent. Découvrez les méditations visuelles et écrites et donnez-vous l’opportunité de plonger plus profondément dans les histoires de cette saison d’espérance.

Novembre 28: Promesse
Novembre 29: Force
Novembre 30: Âme
Décembre 1: Chemin
Décembre 2: Justice
Décembre 3: Accomplir
Décembre 4: Coeur
Décembre 5: Louange
Décembre 6: Éternel
Décembre 7: Offrande
Décembre 8: Messager
Décembre 9: Splendeur
Décembre 10: Se repentir
Décembre 11: Compassion
Décembre 12: Espérance
Décembre 13: Partager
Décembre 14: S’exalter
Décembre 15: Agiter
Décembre 16: Joie
Décembre 17: Bienfaisant
Décembre 18: Chanter
Décembre 19: Béni
Décembre 20: Nourrir
Décembre 21: Générations
Décembre 22: Magnifier
Décembre 23: Troupeau
Décembre 24: Salutation
Décembre 25: Enfant

Vous pouvez faire l’expérience des images et des méditations de #MotsDelAvent par le biais du site, mais aussi par le biais des courriels quotidiens, ainsi que sur Facebook, Instagram et Twitter, et des vidéos en langue des signes américaine (ASL) sur YouTube. Les méditations seront également disponibles en anglais, espagnol et français par courriel et sur Découvrez Promise & Praise sur

AdventWord finds new home at Forward Movement

Beginning in 2021, the multilingual, interactive online Advent calendar known as AdventWord will be offered as part of the ministry of Forward Movement, whose mission is to inspire disciples and empower evangelists.

The project has grown for the past several years under the stewardship of Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS), having originated from the Society of Saint John the Evangelist (SSJE) in 2014.

Forward Movement will continue to work with current AdventWord project manager, Sarah Stonesifer Boylan, and VTS is excited to continue its participation and support of the project.

“Since its origins, the AdventWord hosts have brought unique strengths to the devotionals during the Advent holy season. As I enter to my fifth year shepherding this ministry, I look forward to collaborating with Forward Movement to bring their commitments discipleship and story-sharing into this multimedia initiative,” said Stonesifer Boylan. “The AdventWord prayer-filled community has been made possible by coordinating efforts from the committed organizations of SSJE, VTS, and now, Forward Movement.”

Gathering a worldwide community, AdventWord provides a daily meditation, visual image, and invites personal reflections via social media to share in a community-driven Advent journey. Thousands have participated each year, responding to the words with photos, written responses, crafts, drawings, poems, found art, and Holy Spirit-filled posts. Short daily meditations are sent out each day through Advent via email, social media, and as a podcast, in English, Spanish, French, and American Sign Language videos. Sign up for email updates at and follow AdventWord on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and use #AdventWord in your own posts.

AdventWord is now an offering of Forward Movement

For the second year, Forward Movement will be releasing an Advent devotional to coincide with AdventWord, with each daily reflection drawing inspiration from that day’s selected word. The book, Promise & Praise: Advent Word Reflections, will be available at in early fall.

“Daily prayer and reflection are a central values at Forward Movement, and we try to show that through our resources and offerings,” said the Rev. Canon Scott Gunn, executive director at Forward Movement. “AdventWord offers a stirring way for disciples to practice daily reflection with others around the world as we all prepare to meet Jesus Christ in the season of Advent.”

Sign up for email updates about AdventWord!