Rosefield hosted our second Interactive Christmas event last Sunday, attended by close to 100 people, including helpers. Our aim is to help families with primary and younger children explore the Christmas story through music, story, art, craft, prayer, food, etc. we hope to connect with folk who aren't necessarily regular churchgoers, but many of our 'regulars' turn up as well. People enter through the church foyer (above) where there is a simple craft activity, in this instance making Christmas tree decorations.
People then move into the church. In the past we've had drama and live music. On this occasion Jo gave some background to the Christmas story (starting with Zechariah and Elizabeth), and we then screened about 12 mins of thr movie "The Nativity Story". The clip began with Mary's father telling her that she was to marry Joseph, then the annunciation (angel coming to Mary), a scene with the wise men in the east, and then Mary visiting her cousin Elizabeth.
People then move into the other part of the church where there are mutliple activities in multiple rooms. These consisted of:
Paper Craft - several Christmas things to make
Clay - making Chrismas scenes, characters or symbols
Video - an iMac with multiple short videos about Christmas from various sources, including here, here, here, here, here, and here.
Photo booth- a chance to dress up as a Christmas character and have a photo taken with the manger & baby...
Food - making and decorating Christmas cookies
Prayer stations - see below
Story tent - a tent with a (fake) campfire and torch where people could read story books about Christmas
3D Christmas - making characters, animals, buildings from the story with cardboard cutouts from Proost
Christmas card making - all kinds of stuff for card making, plus the services of a calligrapher who would write a Christmas message on the card for you
Stable - we once again set up a 'stable' with straw and manger. Last year we had a 'live' Mary, Joseph and baby. This time We had a spoken reflection followed by music from the remarkable Leigh Newton.
People were given a blessing to take home.
We had a BBQ outside to follow.
Download Program Handout Posters 2012
Read on for the Prayer stations...
- Download Advent Stations
1. His name will be Jesus - the "annunciation": the angel appears to Mary.
This consisted of a translucent perspex box with a projected video loop and a silhouette of a head. There was an iPod with John Michael Talbot's version of the Magnificat ("Holy is His Hame") and U2's "Magnificant". People were invited to imagine how they might have felt as Mary and to use a wooden skewer to write on the wax on the box.
2. Go to Bethlehem - Mary and Joseph make a long journey
Sand, stones, sandals. A video loop from "The Nativity Story" of M+J travelling with donkey. Audio loop of "Everybody Hurts" by REM. An invitation to take a stone.
If your journey feels too long,
if your load feels too heavy
Hold on, hold on
If your back feels like breaking,
if your heart feels like bursting
Hold on, hold on
If home is far behind you,
if shelter is far beyond
Hold on, hold on
If your friend is beside you,
if warm strength carries you
Hold on, hold on
Take a stone and hold it in your hand. Listen to the song. What feels heavy or difficult for you at this time? Write it in the sand with your finger.
Think about who might help you carry this load and share your journey. Take with you a stone as a symbol of what is difficult for you to carry at this time. Know that you do not carry it alone.
Take it to a person who might help you bear your load. Let this be an opportunity to talk with them.
3. Peace on Earth - angels bring good news to shepherds
Candles, star lights and a video loop of blurry lights. Audio loop of a couple of Nick Cave soundtrack pieces ("Song for Jesse", "Falling") and tracks from the Les Choristes soundtrack by Bruno Calais. An invitation to make a prayer or poem from magnetic poetry and to take a sparkler home.
4. They fled to Egypt - reflection on Jesus being a refugee
A poem written by refugees (to the tune of Little Drummer Boy), audio loop of guitar instrumental of Little Drummer Boy. Pictures of refugee children. CAUTION tape (I wanted barebd wire but...) An invitation to light a candle in prayer for refugees.
The child Jesus is a refugee
He walks with us on the long road to a home
For we are children of the same Creator
We who have fled in fear El Salvador
5. They brought him gifts - the Magi visit Jesus
What would you have given
to the One who is God’s gift to us?
Perhaps all we can truly give
is open hands, open minds, open hearts
to receive the gift of God’s love in our lives
The stunning book ARS SACRA displaying a painitng of the Magi visiting Jesus, items to represent gold, frankincense and myrrh. An invitation to take a Christmas tree bauble as a reminder of God the giver of hope, joy and peace.
That's it. A heap of work but a good evening.
This is an awesome idea!!! I'm always looking for new ways to celebrate the reason for the season, JESUS. I'm hoping to use some of your ideas this coming Christmas at our church. Thank you for writing out your ideas!
Posted by: Tabetha Blevins | July 26, 2017 at 10:54 AM