Healthy Families, Healthy Planet has prepared a free, one-session study and mission project about Mary’s Advent. The study, “Poor, Young & Pregnant: Mary’s Advent,” concludes with instructions for assembly of birthing kits for United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR).
Katey Zeh, project director of Healthy Families, Healthy Planet, describes “Mary’s Advent” as a unique venture in Bible study and advocacy. “The Advent resource focuses on the first miracle of Christmas: Mary's safe labor and birth,” Zeh emphasizes.
Zeh said the goal of this single-session study is to connect the stories of our biblical mothers, focusing specifically on Mary the mother of Jesus, with the realities that mothers around the world continue to face today.
The study consists of prayers, scripture, facts about maternal health, questions for discussion, and the birthing kit instructions.
Engage heads, hearts, hands
“Together these elements will engage your heads, hearts and hands in reflecting on the season of Advent in what I hope will be a new way,” Zeh said.
“Mary’s Advent” is suitable for Sunday school classes, Bible study, or a United Methodist Women’s program, according to Zeh.
The scripture reading, Luke 2:1-20, is described as “A Double Miracle: Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby.”
Among quick facts about maternal health are that nearly all of the 287, 000 maternal deaths each year occur in the developing world, and annually four million infants die within a month of being born.
Healthy Families, Healthy Planet, a United Methodist initiative, started in 2010 through a grant from the United Nations Foundation. The initiative works to educate and mobilize people of faith on the importance of improving global maternal health and ensuring universal access to family planning.
Healthy Families, Healthy Planet is housed in the United Methodist General Board of Church & Society.