There are some community traditions you grow up enjoying. Then there are some traditions you don't discover until well into adulthood. Last night my family attended our first ever Downtown Advent Walk.
The walk is a progressive ecumenical celebration among five historic churches in downtown Paducah. We began at Broadway Methodist Church for a short service then we walked to Washington Street Baptist Church for music and scripture reading. Then, we went to our home church of Grace Episcopal Church for more choral music and a short sermon. Last on the walk were services at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church and First Presbyterian Church.
It was such a special thing to be out on the streets of Paducah with so many people from the community. However, it was more than that. It is not very often that one gets to experience so many different churches and worship styles in one evening. I couldn't believe how few churches I had worshiped in in my own town. There were so many buildings I'd driven by a thousand times but never actually stepped foot in.
I recently read an essayist who argued we all want to rush Christmas because it's one of the few remaining communal celebrations in our society. As I celebrated advent with my town yesterday evening, I knew exactly what he meant.
I'm already counting the days until next year's advent walk.
~ Sarah Stewart Holland