Watching a Christmas movie, may not feel like an event a church should host, but it can be a gift of slowing down, spending time in community, and giving a faith perspective on a season rushing towards a Christmas overload.
Choose a family movie that is appropriate for all ages. I have done Charlie Brown Christmas, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Elf, and other classics. Some movies are wonderful for adults (It’s a Wonderful Life), but are too slow for the younger crowd. I try to pick movies that are less than one and a half hours. Preview the movie and come up with five to seven discussion questions that as a community of faith, what are the ethics, faith, and love-based questions that come up?
Publicize the event!
Have popcorn, snacks, lemonade, water and tea. Make it an intergenerational event, to encourage fellowship and community. Have a table of activities for the very young to do if they become bored. One option, that is a lot of fun, is choose an activity or word to call out every time a certain thing happens on screen (it makes it like a movie scavenger hunt.)
After the movie, have the discussion, encouraging all (and all ages) to answer. It makes for great community building and encourages those who normally would not interact, to get to know each other.
This activity is a great activity for the Sunday before Christmas (as an intergenerational Christian Formation event.)
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The Fall is the start of most parishes’ program year. There is so much to do! Here is a checklist, which can be used by any church to ensure a successful start of the year.
Sunday School Formation
- Teachers signed up, trained, and scheduled
- Curriculum chosen, ordered, and given to teachers
- Signs for each classroom with Name of Class, ages or grades if appropriate
- Age/grade levels and class assignments posted in several locations
- Registration forms and pens outside of each class
- Take Home sheets about each class with discussion questions to continue the conversation
- Attendance Sheets
- Name tags
- Basic supplies in each class: markers, pencils, scissors, stapler, glue, tape, paper, construction paper, Bibles
- Leaders trained and scheduled
- Story props
- Story order and dates
- Curriculum, if used
- Sermon/homily options, sites, ideas
- ”Bulletins” for readers
- Altar supplies: candle, cross, Bible
For All of the Above
- Calendar with all important dates and starting times
- Brochure of Family Ministries with descriptions, times and location for everything family
- Evangelism plan (way to spread the word about church and happenings
- Goals for year
- Letter to parents with purpose of each ministry
- Letter to participants about what they can expect
- Will a snack be served and if so, what? when? How will it be supplied?
- Chair and Co-chair for each planned event
- Description, purpose and goal for each event
- Notes about event from previous years
- Schedule of activities for each event
- Supplis needed list (and budget) for each event
- Helpers, volunteers, committee for each event
- Will food be served? Will special furniture or room plan be required?
- Advertisement or publicity plan for each event
Tools to help
This checklist is a great overview and way to start planning Depending on the curriculum, activities, crafts, and games, additional supplies will be needed
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