- December Possibilities
Ok, so who needs more ideas during December? It is busy and possibly a near frantic time of year, but as I go through this time of year I often have sparks of what could have been or even what should have been. How about you? So these ideas may or may not be possible for this year… but maybe for next…after all you have a year to prepare.
- Do Christmas Movies. Jesse Kearns talks about doing a series on “Faith and Films” in the Summer. They watch popular films (e.g. The Judge, Interstellar, Wild) and then discuss the central theme, character portrayal, and such. They also talk about what they see from their “faith filters”; what fits with the Gospel message and where are the messages off target (if they are). --- This could be done with some Christmas classics as well as new ones such as: It’s a Wonderful Life, The Santa Clause, Elf, Miracle on 34th Street, A Christmas Carol, Scrooged, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, A Charlie Brown Christmas, or new ones.
While may people have an overwhelming amount to do during December, there are many with little to do and who would cherish new possibilities.
- Plan a surprise. A group called Improv Everywhere is a New York based “prank collective” that does this in amazing ways. This December they placed an 8” bright red light switch in a park and when people flipped the switch it would light up the park with over mile of lights (http://improveverywhere.com/2015/12/02/the-light-switch/). They look for ways to surprise others in positive and fun ways. What is a surprise and delight you can give to your community this December?
- Recognize that the Church is rich in traditions and customs at this time of year but please be sure to explain what they mean. At the Hanging of the Greens service as well as at the Christmas Eve service we talked about the meaning of many of the symbols. So many people haven’t had the opportunity to learn the meaning behind the lights, evergreen, crimson ornaments, wreaths, etc.
(free copies of Advent talks, Christmas Eve Services are available from us.)
- Make time for some quiet (for others and for yourself as a church leader). There have been times when I don’t know if I would have even heard the angel’s song if they came to me like they did to the shepherds because there was so much going on and so much noise in my life. Maybe just an hour set aside for people to come to the sanctuary or a chapel for reflection, reading of the Christmas story passages, with or without music, would help keep a powerful focus on the one we celebrate.
- Perhaps have a time for those struggling with the loss of a loved on during this season (through death, divorce, or estrangement). Some congregations have a special service focused on this.