THE ADVENT CLOCK

                          Children’s Time (What Time is It?)


Advent is a time for waiting and anticipation. This is especially true for children as they
wait for and anticipate the coming of Christmas. In lieu of a traditional Advent calendar,
this season an Advent Clock is recommended to count down the Christmas season. The
scriptural texts and stories reflect time and the coming of Jesus. Instead of merely
waiting for Christ to come, we are called to be participatory and prepare for the event.
Therefore, the Advent Clock is to be used showing the four Sundays in Advent and plus
Christmas and Epiphany. During the story time, images will be revealed that relate to the
story, the visuals and the bulletins.

Preferably the same person leads the Children’s Time each week. This could be a special
character: i.e. a Cowboy or a pioneer who would be found in the American Southwest.
Our recommendation is that the drama is also incorporated with the Children’s time.
This reinforces that Sunday’s them for the children, while setting up the basic message
for the adults. Have the children glean the basic message from the story and the drama,
then reveal the image on the Advent Clock.

The basic format would be to have the storyteller gather the children around a
campsite/campfire and pull from his or her knapsack/saddlebag an object or group of
objects. They would discuss what the objects are used for. Then, the storyteller sets up
any introduction to the drama (they may even serve as a narrator to the drama).
Following the drama, the storyteller should help the children discern the basic message
from it and how the items pulled from the knapsack relate. Once the theme has been
discussed add a “wedge” of time to the Advent Clock.

Directions for Making the Clock:

There are two options for making the clock. The first is made from a single sheet of 30”
x 30” plywood, foamcore board, or some other rigid piece of cardboard that can be
painted on, or covered with felt. Figure A shows the dimensions of the overall clock with
wedges empty. As the Sundays progress, the wedges will be added. The wedges will be
made from cardboard/foamcore that are either painted with paint or maker, or covered
with felt. Figure B shows the pattern for the wedges. To make the pattern, print out
Figure B and copy it onto a transparency. With an overhead, blow it up onto a 24”
diameter cardboard circle and trace the pattern. Color in the areas with paint or markers
and outline each area in black. Figure C shows the recommended colors for the board
before the wedges are added. Figure D shows the completed Advent clock with all of the
pieces on. The colors chosen relate to the colors on the banner.
Attach the wedges with double-stick tape (pre-tape the backside of the wedge so all you
have to do is peel of the backing during the service), or attach Velcro to the back if you
are attaching to felt. If you are covering the clock with felt, you may want to simplify the
pattern. Another option would be to cut out photos from magazines and paste them onto
the wedges in lieu of drawing the pattern (i.e.: seedlings for the first Sunday, a wash
basin or washcloths and towels for Sunday two, etc.). An even simpler option would be
to merely print the name of the theme on the wedge. However, I usually find that
children respond to more visually images.

The second option involves two sheets of 30” x 30” plywood or foamcore board glued
together. Cut the wedges out of the top board leaving a ½ inch space between the wedges
(refer Figure E). Paint the back board blue before you glue the two boards together.
Paint the wedges as you would above. During the story, the wedges can be simply
dropped into the space where they were cut out.

Note: for the lettering, you may choose to outline the letters provided, or use your own
stencils. If you are making a wooded board, you may want to use wooden letters found at
arts and crafts stores. Paint them before you glue them to the base.

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