Thursday, December 06, 2007

How can a carol service be missional?

I'm putting together a carol service for my church. I'd love this to be an outreach to the local community. That's what the congregation wants. But I'm mulling over how to make this a missional event.

When we expect people to come to a carol service are we working from Christendom assumptions - assuming everyone is basically Christian and so will want (and be able) to sing carols? Are we relying on the Christian cultural remnants hanging around society? Is it a bad thing if we are? How much longer are those remnants going to hang around? Or are we moving into a society where people are as likely to go to church at Christmas as go to a Mosque at Eid?

Is this a time for Unitarians to paint themselves as Christians to draw upon the Christian themes in culture? Or should a Unitarian carol service look distinctively different from the carol service that you would get in the Anglican service down the road?

How can a carol service be missional?


Anonymous plonkee said...

I think you assume people have, at best, knowledge of Christmas carols through school. I'd take advantage of this by including mostly well known carols, but bring in the Unitarian aspect by picking less common readings (if you're having readings).

All this assumes that you can actually get people through the door. You might consider advertising it as an alternative Xmas carol service, but I don't know whether that will encourage people or not.

12:01 pm  
Blogger Aviano said...

What time of day or night is your planned service? In my possibly limited experience of a small Scottish town, a big city and an English rural market town the midnight service, whether mass or carols, is what attracts many who rarely go to church.

Maybe you could draw on the viewpoints and belief of your congregation. Get some of them to give their reflections on what Chrsitmas and Jesus mean to them, or what their questionings about Christmas might be.

12:17 pm  

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