Skip to main content

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?

Comments

Anonymous 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.
Andrew Bethune 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.

Popular posts from this blog

From liberalism to radicalism

I've been reflecting recently on the journey I've been making from liberalism to radicalism, and how I'm beginning to see it as a necessary evolution if you're not going to get stuck in a kind of immature liberalism that fails to serve both you and the world. By liberalism I mean ideas and movements that emphasise personal freedom and not being restricted by the patterns of the past. By radicalism I mean ideas and movements that emphasise justice, solidarity, and liberation from oppression. Yes, I'm using broad categories here. Let me give an example. Let's talk about sexual liberation in a Western context for example. We can talk about women getting more agency over their bodies; gay and bi people being able to have sex with one another and marry one another; we can talk about the work of overcoming shame around sexuality. All of that is liberalism. It's good stuff. It's still ongoing. So we might ask the question "where next for sexu

Am I an activist?

  I remember being at some protest outside the Senedd once, and someone introduced me to someone else, and said, "Stephen is an activist." I remember thinking - am I? I don't know. What does it mean to be an activist? Who gets to use that title? Am I an activist because I turn up at a few protests? Or do I have to be one them organising the protest to be an activist? Do I have to lead? Do I have to do the organisational work to be an activist? Because the truth is that since I moved to Cardiff I have kept myself at the periphery of a lot of activist groups. I go to meetings, I hear about things, I turn up at protests, but I have rarely got really fully involved. Why is that? It's not for the reason that I don't have time. I do, in fact. But often I sit in these meetings and protests and think "Is this effective? Is it worthwhile? Is it going to produce something at the end of it all that is worth the effort?" I suppose, coming from the world of church I

LOST and theology: who are the good guys?

***Spoiler alert*** I'm continuing some theological/philosophical reflections while re-watching the series LOST. One of the recurring themes in LOST is the idea of the "good guys" and the "bad guys." We start the series assuming the survivors (who are the main characters) are the "good guys" and the mysterious "Others" are definitely bad guys. But at the end of series 2 one of the main characters asks the Others, "Who are  you people?" and they answer, in an extremely disturbing way, "We're the good guys." The series develops with a number of different factions appearing, "the people from the freighter" "the DHARMA initiative" as well as divisions among the original survivors. The question remains among all these complicated happenings "who really are the good guys?" I think one of the most significant lines in the series is an episode when Hurley is having a conversation with