Sanctuary open for Honest Advent Experience.
Wilshire’s Sanctuary will be open from 1 to 5 p.m. each Sunday during Advent for “Hopes & Fears: An Honest Advent Experience.” The exhibit, which began Nov. 29 and ends Dec. 20, represents the first opportunity for most congregants to be in the Sanctuary since March 8.
According to Associate Pastor Heather Mustain, the offering came about largely in response to feedback from members wishing spaces at the church could be accessible even as worship remains online. “The Sanctuary means so much to so many people,” Mustain says. “We wanted to open it in a safe, responsible way that also meets the liturgical moment.” Mustain notes that the Sanctuary will be decorated for the season.
The Honest Advent Experience is based around the work of Scott Erickson, an Austin-based painter, illustrator and self-described “creative curate.” His 2020 book, Honest Advent: Awakening to the Wonder of God-with-Us Then, Here, and Now, features his artwork along with 25 daily meditations.
According to the publisher, the book “creates a space for you to encounter the Incarnate Christ in unexpected places: like a pregnancy announcement in an era of political unrest and empirical bloodshed, the morning sickness of a Middle Eastern teenager, and the shocking biology of birth that goes far beyond the sanitized brand of Christmas as we know it.”
Visitors to the Honest Advent Experience will make their way through various stations set up in the Sanctuary featuring Erickson’s art along with Scripture, prayers, prompts for reflection and interactive elements. Materials will be updated weekly, so congregants are encouraged to visit each week. Each week will be focused on a theme of Hope, Peace, Joy, Love.
The experience will take about 15 minutes, and household units will move through it as a group. Each visitor will receive a tapered candle and a postcard-sized print of an Erickson illustration.
Advance sign-up is required. Find the signup genius links below for each week.