Jesse Tree Advent Event Plan for Churches

Plan an intergenerational event for celebrating the beginning of Advent and making Jesse Tree ornaments at your church. Here’s a suggested Jesse Tree Advent event plan for an afternoon or evening at the beginning of Advent. Publicize the schedule ahead of time so that people can get the event on their calendars early.

Supplies

COST

To cover costs for this event, choose one or a combination of the following: receive a free-will offering with some suggested guidelines for cost, offer the event on a per-family cost basis, or charge on a per-item basis. Share the information about cost when you advertise the event.

JESSE TREE KITS

You’ll need one kit for each family unit (single, couple, parents or guardians with children, grandparents with grandchildren). In each kit include a set of Jesse Tree ornaments to color or decorate, instructions for making a Jesse Tree to hang them, and a copy of the Jesse Tree devotions (we have two printable devotionals you can use for free: one for families and one for personal use).

CRAFT SUPPLIES FOR MAKING ORNAMENTS

If you’ll be using our printable ornaments, you will likely need markers, crayons, colored pencils, or other coloring supplies for decorating and coloring. You may also want to have a hole puncher and string or ribbon available to prepare the ornaments to be hung. For making Jesse Tree ornaments that are three-dimensional or don’t rely on our templates, you may need to purchase additional craft supplies.

Suggested Event Schedule

4:00 to 4:15 p.m.: WELCOME AND INTRODUCTION TO EVENT

As participants arrive, welcome each one and invite them to sit in chairs that have been arranged for the introduction to the event. After everyone has gathered in the meeting area, introduce them to the schedule for the afternoon and evening. Then explain what a Jesse Tree is and describe the ornament-making activity. Point out the Jesse Tree that you have set up in your fellowship/work area. Remind the participants that they can read the Scripture passage and/or a story from a Bible storybook before hanging the Jesse Tree ornaments on a tree branch. Give each family unit a Jesse Tree kit and dismiss them to work areas to make the ornaments.

4:15 to 5:30 p.m.: MAKE JESSE TREE ORNAMENTS

Arrange work tables so that participants can move freely from table to table. Set out supplies on the work tables for the ornament-making options you have chosen for this event. You’ll probably want to cover the table to protect the work surface. Seasonal music may be a nice background while working. Remember to provide time for clean-up (sticky hands).

5:30 to 6:15 p.m.: SOUP, SALAD, OR SANDWICH SUPPER

To make preparation for this event as simple as possible, serve a simple supper of soup and salads or soup and sandwiches. Provide beverages and place settings. Ask participants to bring a plate of their favorite cookies to share for dessert. Perhaps a church group–youth group, women’s group, men’s group, small study group, etc.–would like to provide supper as a fundraiser.

6:15 to 6:30 p.m.: SHORT BREAK FOR CLEAN-UP

Invite everyone to lend a helping hand with clean-up after the meal. This makes it possible for everyone to participate in the intergenerational worship service.

6:30 to 7:00 p.m.: INTERGENERATIONAL ADVENT WORSHIP

Close the evening by gathering in the chancel area of your sanctuary or in any other worshipful setting in your church. The brief Advent worship service is for all ages. Young children (and any others who wish to) can sit on the floor. Be sure to move the Jesse Tree from the work area to your worship area. Place the Jesse Tree in front of the group.

This service can be a very important and appreciated part of the Jesse Tree Advent event. It is quiet and intimate, and offers an opportunity for the church family to worship together and begin the Advent season with a Christ-centered focus.

Jesse Tree Advent Event Order of Worship

Opening

Christ is coming soon. Let us prepare our hearts.

Litany

Leader: Today is the first Sunday of Advent. Advent is a time of waiting, a time of anticipation and preparation for the coming of Jesus.
People: During Advent we remember some of the people who came before Jesus and who waited and hoped for his birth.
Leader: One way we remember is by using a Jesse Tree. Each day we hang a symbol on the Jesse Tree to remember those people who were part of Jesus’ family.
People: Today we hang on the Jesse Tree the symbol of a stump with a branch to help us remember Isaiah, the prophet.
(Invite a child to hang on the Jesse Tree the symbol of a stump with a branch.)
Leader: Isaiah said, “A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots.” (Isaiah 11:1)
People: Thank you, God, for Isaiah, who told of the Savior’s coming.

Scripture

Isaiah 11:1–2 and Matthew 1:1–6, 17

Advent Carol

The Prophets Came to Israel,” verse 1 (Songs for LiFE, # 128); “Prepare the Way of the Lord” (Songs for LiFE, # 124 or Sing With Me, #84); or “Toda la tierra/All Earth is Waiting” (Sing! A New Creation, #93)

Meditation

Write your own meditation, based on the Isaiah and Matthew Scripture selections.

Prayer

Invite participants to offer sentence prayers.

Closing Song

Come, Lord Jesus” (Sing! A New Creation, #103); “O Come, O Come, Immanuel” (Sing With Me, #81); “Come, Though Long-Expected Jesus” (Sing With Me, #83); or “People in Darkness Are Looking for Light” (Sing With Me, #85)

Dismissal

Go in peace. Walk in the light of the Lord.

This is an adapted version of an event plan written by Willa Brown.