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Members of Peace

Members of Peace

Members of Peace 2560 1920 Nicole

Capitalism is never more insistent than at Christmastime. Black Friday email blasts and commercials start well in advance of Thanksgiving; Christmas sales are popping up every time I open a social media app; Christmas themes saturate commercials.

But there is something that I gave into when I went grocery shopping with my daughters this past week – we love doing some sort of countdown (an advent calendar of any sort – though we’ve grown weary of the so-called chocolate ones that are really pieces of wax in disguise). You may have seen these – various themed 15-Days-Of-Socks. Since we’re Harry Potter nerds, we chose that. And since we really must begin at Thanksgiving and there are nearly 30 days until Christmas we had to get the Elf one, too!

There is a fair amount of irony in all of this – the season most lucrative to commerce, nearly entirely focused on money and things, propagates even as we sing Christmas songs (Last Christmas, I gave you my heart… All I want for Christmas… )  It is also the time I most struggle to find peace.

So Advent seems to have started sometime in the fourth century CE. Like Lent, it began as a preparation for being baptized and making one’s Baptismal vows. It is meant to be a season of prayer and fasting. confession. simplicity. It is meant to be 40 days of removing the superfluous in our lives so that we can be intentional about our belief: “We believe in Jesus Christ.”

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About the author

Nicole

Nicole Oliver Snyder’s expertise lies in the areas of leadership, gender issues, and mindfulness practice as it affects both. Leadership, particularly in an urban setting, requires community-relations skills, and an ability to clearly convey justice issues as they relate to felt, spiritual ones. Dr. Snyder is author of Leading Together: Mindfulness and the Gender Neutral Zone, and specializes in teaching mindfulness leadership development, formative spirituality, counseling, and Old Testament theology (emphasis on justice issues). She has a diverse background in international community-relations work combined with volunteer work in multi-ethnic communities, and with local institutions. She is an ordained Clergy; holds a BS in Human Development and Family Studies, w/Education Certificate, an MA-Counseling, MDiv Equiv., holds a Doctor of Ministry and Advanced Certification in Formative Spiritual Direction, and is a Licensed Professional Counselor (MI).