Dear Advent readers,

Thank you so much for going on this Advent journey through scripture and reflections with us. We have been blessed by the incredible increase in interest in the Advent Reader this year. As we sit in this longing place, holding brokenness and longing and hope and joy all in tension, we know that you sit here with us.

Here we are in the Christmas season, and Epiphone — the season of light — will be upon us very soon. Here in Saskatoon, the days are still very short with long dark nights, but we have passed the shortest day of the year, more and more light is coming each day. It is a strange tension that we live in as we mark the Feast of the Nativity (aka Christmas) on the calendar and say that the incarnation of God as a human does change the world, yet as the day passes on the calendar, nothing, in particular, seems to have changed. The hard things are still hard. The darkness of winter lingers in the air and our hearts. But, we are also people of hope, that God’s presence in our world does indeed make a difference. And even better — God has been here all along.

I pray that even as the hard and the dark things of our world may still surrounding you, that you also know that the Light is on the horizon.

* * *

If you have valued the Advent Reader or something else that New Leaf has offered you this year, please consider making a donation to support the ongoing work we do. If you have appreciated this Advent Reader, a donation of $5-25 (or more) would support future projects like this one.

(Donations can be given to New Leaf online via We are currently a partner of the Free Methodist Church in Canada. One time gifts and ongoing monthly giving can be contributed at the link above on the Give button. For instructions on giving by cheque, contact [email protected])

Thank you!

I am grateful for the beautiful contributions of the authors from across Canada. They shared their insight into scripture and their hearts in brave and vulnerable ways. They shared the truth about the brokenness of the world, but they also transplanted their hope and shared it with us. Thank you for your words!

Have you been listening to the podcast companion to the Advent Reader? Did you hear the beautiful music at the beginning and end? The music comes from our friends, Canadian musicians Drew Brown and Karla Adolphe. Check out their music and look for concert events near you!

Have you been enjoying the images and quotes from the reflections? Huge thank you to Alanna Johnson for her design work on the Advent Reader. She has added a visual frame for the words of these authors as we send these reflections out into the world of social media. Thanks, Alanna!

I am grateful for all the encouragement we received from those of you who are reading along with us. New Leaf is a network of people, we do not simply produce a product to be consumed, our goal is to connect with people and encourage people to connect with each other so no one feels like we are alone. Thank you for your willingness to reach out and encourage us.

Stay connected

If you would like to continue to stay connected with the New Leaf Network, there are a few ways:

  • Follow us and share us on social media.
  • to hear the latest news about new blog posts and podcasts, as well as events in your area. Sign up for the New Leaf email list
  • Reach out to us and let us know what you are doing in your neighbourhood. We always love to hear stories from across our country. You can email us at [email protected]
  • Contribute your Reflections on the Canadian Soul. The New Leaf blog is a collaborative blog, and we invite contributions to the conversation. If you are interested in writing for the blog, read more about our goal and focus, and check out the submission guideline or email [email protected]

The team at New Leaf is excited for 2020, and we are so excited that you have joined us for the Advent season this year. We hope you will stay in conversation with us as we continue to engage with the church in Canada, whether it feels like things are falling to pieces, or if there is new light on the horizon.

May God bless you this Christmas season.

Amy Bratton, New Leaf Blog editor

and the New Leaf team

Thank you for reading the New Leaf Advent Reader, a collection of reflections from writers across Canada.