Advent 2020: A Journey from Darkness to Light
Advent is a time of joyful expectation and waiting, as we anticipate the birth of Jesus. This year it has been hard to feel joyful as we face grief and pain associated with the pandemic, issues of injustice and a divided nation. This year’s Advent series will help us honor the challenges of the holiday season and provide insights and practices to find hope. We invite you to join any or all of the programs:
- December 6: From Grief to Hope: Finding Light in the Darkness with Claire Willis;
- Dec 13: The Grow Clinic: Finding Hope Through Love in Action and
- Dec: 20: Finding God and Hope During A Pandemic Advent with Nicholas Collura.
Each event will take place immediately following worship on Sunday (10:30AM). A Zoom link will be provided.
From Grief to Hope: Finding Light in the Darkness: Claire B. Willis
Claire Willis, a licensed clinical social worker who has worked in the field of bereavement for over 20 years and author of Opening to Grief, Finding Your Way from Loss to Peace, will help us to acknowledge the pain and grief we are facing this Advent season and will provide insights and ideas to help us find reasonable hope as we approach the holiday.
Dr. Wills will help us honor the challenges of this season and will provide strategies for finding reasonable hope as we move through Advent towards a very different holiday. Claire B. Willis is a clinical social worker who has worked in the fields of oncology and bereavement for
Finding Hope Through Love in Action: The Grow Clinic
Founder Dr. Deborah Frank and Co-Director Dr. Soukaine Adolphe will update us on how the Grow Clinic is facing the challenges of the pandemic and will discuss how partnerships like those with Redeemer provide hope for the Grow Clinic’s clients and for the supporters who give of their time, talent and treasure.
Finding God and Hope During a Pandemic Advent: Nicholas Collura, M. Div.
While life has always been marked by change and loss, nothing could have prepared us for the sudden loss of “life as we know it” and the suffering that we have witnessed as a result of the ongoing global pandemic. This sense of loss is particularly acute during the holidays. In this program, Nicholas Collura, a pallative care chaplain and spiritual director, will consider experiences of grief in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Drawing on psychological, spiritual, and artistic resources, Nicholas will share insights on means of coping with such grief and loss during the holidays and will conclude by inviting participants into a practice of self-compassion.
Claire Willis is a licensed clinical social worker who has worked in the fields of oncology and bereavement for more than 20 years. A cofounder of the Boston nonprofit Facing Cancer Together, Willis has led bereavement, end-of-life, support, and therapeutic writing groups. She has co-taught Spiritual Resources for Healing the Mind, Body, and Soul at Andover Newton Theological School. She maintains a private practice in Brookline, Massachusetts. As a lay Buddhist chaplain ordained by Joan Halifax at Upaya Zen Center in Santa Fe, she focuses on contemplative practices for end-of-life care. For the past five years, she has been a student of Koshin Paley Ellison, a founding teacher at the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care. Willis is the author of Opening to Grief, Finding Your Way from Loss to Peace, and of Lasting Words: A Guide to Finding Meaning Toward the Close of Life.
Nicholas Collura earned a Master of Divinity degree from the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry and trained as a spiritual director at the Jesuit Collaborative in Watertown, MA. He completed his clinical pastoral education as an interfaith chaplain at MGH in Boston and at Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia. He has worked in California state prisons, at a L’Arche community and on several college campuses, and is now a palliative care chaplain in Philadelphia and a visiting retreat director at St. Raphaela Center in Haverford. He is a member of the Association of Professional Chaplains and of Spiritual Directors International and has contributed to the Huffington Post Live, NPR’s All Things Considered and The National Catholic Reporter