A singing communion of churches

In the darkness o’er Judea
In the silence of the night
As Bethlehem lay dreaming
‘neath the still and starry skies
Holy angels came rejoicing
Bright with glory like the dawn
And set the heavens singing
When the Son of God was born

The twenty-fourth advent hymn comes from Poland and is performed in two languages: Polish and sign-language. What an amazing twenty-four days it has been, getting to know the churches of the communion in their unity and diversity, through their hymns of Advent and Christmas.


Advent is colorful

Christmas is decorations and trees. Christmas is lights and colors. Sometimes sharp and clear. Sometimes fussy and abstract.


Friendship changes minds, also books

James Clear:

Convincing someone to change their mind is really the process of convincing them to change their tribe. If they abandon their beliefs, they run the risk of losing social ties. You can’t expect someone to change their mind if you take away their community too. You have to give them somewhere to go. Nobody wants their worldview torn apart if loneliness is the outcome.

The way to change people’s minds is to become friends with them, to integrate them into your tribe, to bring them into your circle. Now, they can change their beliefs without the risk of being abandoned socially.

Books can help with this:

In conversation, people have to carefully consider their status and appearance. They want to save face and avoid looking stupid. When confronted with an uncomfortable set of facts, the tendency is often to double down on their current position rather than publicly admit to being wrong.

Books resolve this tension. With a book, the conversation takes place inside someone’s head and without the risk of being judged by others. It’s easier to be open-minded when you aren’t feeling defensive.

First seen in Clear’s newsletter. Well worth a subscription.


Advent in St Petersburg

The first LWF advent hymn of the season is in Finnish and comes from Russia. Beautiful.


Blank for Advent

Inspired by Shawn Blanc who was inspired by Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky I’m going blank during advent. After all this should be a time of reflection and preparation. Being deliberate about that helps.

What is going blank for advent you ask? It’s leaving the home screen on your smart phone intentionally blank to reclaim time and improve focus.