‘Following the Star’ begins today on d365.org
From staff reports. Additional reporting by Emily Enders Odom | Presbyterian News Service
LOUISVILLE – Following the Star, the devotional series for Advent and Christmas, returns today, November 21, to Passport Inc.’s devotional website, d365—devotionals 365 days a year—just before the start of Advent.
This popular series—featuring scripture, prayer, and meditative thoughts accompanied by gentle music—is designed to help Christ-followers in their personal preparation as they follow the star toward Jesus.
Series writers Gina Yeager‐Buckley, associate for the Presbyterian Mission Agency’s Ministries with Youth, and the Rev. Chip Hardwick, director of the Theology, Formation, and Evangelism ministry area—representing the PC(USA)—along with Ryan Wilson, Kristina Holland, Timothy Peoples, Andrew Kellner, and Dale Tadlock have centered their thoughts on the classic themes of the season.
“No matter where you are with regard to the seasons between Thanksgiving and Epiphany—whether you are excited or overwhelmed, fully engaged or completely checked out, you are in the middle of a completely unique time and experience,” says Yeager-Buckley. “There is a shift, especially for young people, in the air—the sights, the rhythm of school and church, not to mention family. Following the Star is a theological echo of that shift, a way for youth, young adults, and anyone to focus on listening for God, talking with God, engaging with the season in a holy rather than commercial way.”
Following the Star features a collection of piano arrangements by David Burroughs from the album “Advent Waiting,” which is available for purchase on iTunes®. The musical reflections provide a familiar artistic backdrop to accompany each daily devotional.
Scheduled to run November 21, 2016, through January 8, 2017, Following the Star is part of the year‐round devotional site, d365.org, a ministry of Passport, Inc.—a national non-profit ministry—and sponsored ecumenically by Passport, Inc., Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, Presbyterian Mission Agency, and The Episcopal Church.
d365.org, which hosts daily devotionals and three seasonal series for Lent, Advent, and the beginning of the school year, attracts over two million visitors annually. Daily devotionals are available on the web as well as through the free iOS app.
“Following the Star is our most popular seasonal focus in the d365.org lexicon,” Yeager-Buckley says. “I think that’s telling. People, young and older, are looking for a way to be a part of the adventure of finding Jesus again and again. For me, writing for this series is a way that I can depart from the seasonal avalanche—which, honestly, I love—and dial it down. Enter the story. Sidle up to what God is whispering through the old tales. And then to think about the youth I know and love. To imagine how they feel and how they might hear that same holy whisper.”
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