Friday, December 14, 2007

grow in Christmas cheer

logo with angel.jpg (spot the cute little angel)

Grow in Christmas cheer kicked off on Sunday night at 7pm and was EXCELLENT. A highlight for me was seeing community youth gathered around one of our retired folk, making Christmas cards, and just watching generations learning together.

Grow honours the fact that people learn in different ways by feeding mouths and minds, hands and hearts, eyes and ears (publicity blurb), by offering a whole range of ways to learn, finishing by gathering in table groups around 3 questions: who is God; who are humans; how then we should act.

Practically, Grow in Christmas cheer offered video clip from Polar Express, a history of Santa, tips if you’re shopping for justice this Christmas, a demonstration of how to make your own creative Christmas card, top 10 quiz guessing lyrics lines from Christmas carols, Biblical wisdom from the life of Anna in Luke 2.

Here is what the table groups learnt. Grow in Christmas cheer (Week 2) happens again this Sunday evening.

Posted by steve at 05:53 PM


  1. Interesting article in the Sunday Star Times today by Finlay Macdonald about the ‘merry farce Christmas has become’ he states that ‘there was also a time when I imagined that some antidote to the foul consumerism of Christmas might be found in the church’ and goes on to say ‘…but your churches should be ashamed for not speaking louder about the travesty their supposedly holy day has become. Instead what we hear are tired homilies about the joys of family togetherness (at a time when domestic violence soars) and half-baked attempts to rationalise the virtues of “giving”…If Jesus were around today he’d be heaving tinsel trees out of windows…’
    Consumerism certainly seems rampant but on the other hand the Sunday Star Times also reported last week that a third of people wouldn’t take a million dollars as payment never to use a cell-phone again in their lives. The reason why – they said relationships were more important. Most of these people were young. Food for thought, Jack

    Comment by Jack — December 16, 2007 @ 1:54 pm

  2. hmmm. wonder what Finlay would make of Grow in Christmas Cheer? encouragement to shop for justice by buying clean water for Cambodia, practical demonstration of how to make your own Christmas card, a sermon on spirituality of waiting with practical suggestions of visiting an older person and of being quiet for 5 minutes every day.

    not that we set out to walk to Finlay’s drum, but surely there is some sort of counter-cultural activity in that?


    Comment by steve — December 16, 2007 @ 2:42 pm

  3. Good point Steve and I think what’s happening at Opawa looks fantastic from what I can gather through your blog, really creative, inclusive and engaging – but I doubt Finlay would even know it was going on, I haven’t a clue what’s happening in the churches in my town. I think he’s referring more to the church not being more passionate, outspoken and fired up about reclaiming Christmas Day. I am interested in the comment “not that we set out to walk to Finlay’s drum” too, what do you mean by that? I assume you mean that you aim to do what God wants you too and not the likes of Finlay. How do you know Finlays search for an alternative Christmas isn’t God working in him. I ask because when I did go to church we were told that the church was the most unique organisation because it was the only club that existed primarily to meet the needs of its non-members.

    Comment by Jack — December 17, 2007 @ 9:46 am

  4. What did I mean by “not that we set out to walk to Finlay’s drum”: simply that Grow in Christmas Cheer was developed before you commented about Finlay. So when I then commented, analysing Grow based on what Finlay said, I simply wanted to make clear that Grow came first ie we didn’t read Finlay and then say, oh, how can we respond.

    I have no idea what God might/not be doing in Finlay and wouldn’t even like to hazard a guess. However I would certainly expect that God is very alive outside the church (hence my use of U2:)).


    Comment by steve — December 18, 2007 @ 9:10 am

  5. Ok Ok Ok – I was so wrong, I admit it – using U2 is/was/will always be a great idea, I cannot believe I questioned it, when and where is the next course on the path to forgiveness. 🙂
    Just did some Christmas consuming, shopping in pouring rain, grumpy stressed people and ‘Finlays’ everywhere…you see I saw the Sweetest Thing in a warehouse flier so decided I Will Follow the crowds to the big red shed – where there’s so much stuff its easy to get lost – The Streets Have No Name. I survived claustrophobia and a case of Vertigo to make it to the counter only to realise I’d left my wallet in the car and didn’t have even One dollar. You know what its like when you get Stuck in A Moment You can’t Get Out of. Pride prevented me from asking someone in the queue for a loan and I couldnt find any Windows in the Skies to escape out of, so I just had to Walk On. But I will be OK cos its still a Beautiful Day and even thou after pacing the streets I Still Havent Found What Im looking For, I will shop until the kids have their every Desire even if it takes till Sunday Bloody Sunday, and I’ll be back to catch the sales on New Years Day!

    Jack 🙂

    Comment by Jack — December 18, 2007 @ 11:26 am

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