CHRISTMAS 2020 RESOURCES & IDEAS
Advent and Christmas are a time of celebration and community faithfulness, and by implementing safe practices and looking out for one another, we are truly CHURCH TOGETHER!
Coronavirus cases in the metro New York area are growing at a faster rate than expected, and this holiday season may look different than those we are used to. What is most important, though, is that we take care of one another while maintaining our faithful holiday celebrations. Therefore, the Office of the Bishop has put together the following recommendations and resources to help you plan alternative end-of-year festivities, especially Christmas. These are ideas that can be tailored to your congregation’s or community’s needs, or perhaps they can just be a jumping off point.
Please remember that protecting the health and safety of ALL members of our community is both our truth and our precedence as children of God. Though many of us may be physically apart, spiritually we remain TOGETHER!
RECOMMENDATIONS AND RESOURCES:
VIRTUAL WORSHIP SERVICES
Digital worship services are an excellent way to gather and pray with your community at this holy time of year.
Please keep in mind that if you are planning on live-streaming services, don’t forget about your online audience, and try not to only live-stream. Instead, also create services for your online audience via Zoom or another platform that invites their participation and engagement in worship. Digital attendance has increased during this pandemic, and you do not want to miss an opportunity to sustain and retain this new audience.
MNYS SERVICES OF THE WORD: ADVENT I & SUNDAY AFTER CHRISTMAS
Pastors, would you enjoy a weekend or two off? Congregations and communities, would you like to join Bishop Egensteiner and the synod staff for the holidays?
On Sunday, November 29 (Advent I)
, and Sunday, December 27 (Christmas I)
at 10 am, the Office of the Bishop will be premiering Services of the Word on YouTube
. The virtual front doors of MNYS are open to all. Let us digitally gather together for these synodical celebrations.
DIGITAL OFFICE HOURS
The holidays can be a time of difficulty for many, and the crisis we are all experiencing may be increasing levels of stress, sadness, loneliness and anxiety. Providing a schedule of digital office hours can be a very helpful source for much-needed pastoral care this holiday season.
ECUMENICAL DIGITAL COFFEE HOURS
Host a digital coffee hour via Zoom and invite ecumenical partners and guests, leading up to holidays and/or after virtual worship services. You can remain in faithful and thought-provoking discussion with your fellow siblings and maintain our sense of community and collaboration in the name of the Holy Spirit.
VIDEO HOLIDAY GREETINGS
Put together a video holiday greeting that invites everyone to participate. Not only is this a fun activity to share with one another, but it will help ordained leaders, lay leaders, and faithful congregants and communities get into the holiday spirit.
Explore the Mexican Christmas tradition of Posadas this season, and digitalize it! This unusual holiday season, devoid of travel and in-person gatherings, offers us the rare opportunity to explore new cultural traditions from the comfort of our homes. This Posada celebrations can be shared with family, friends, and fellow congregants via scheduled Zoom meeting gatherings.
Learn more about Posadas, HERE.
CROSS-CULTURAL ZOOM ACTIVITIES
Coordinate activities via Zoom with fellow congregations that have different traditions than your own. The digital interface we now rely on offers everyone the ability to more easily plan events and the opportunity to dismantle barriers. Discover new cultural traditions and new ways of celebrating this holiday season!
Organize advocacy events with local Lutheran organizations (i.e., toy drives, food pantry collection, etc.) for members of your community to get involved in during this time of giving. There are so many in need right now, and the Church can continue to be there for everyone. Additionally, young new members can also engage in such advocacy efforts, giving them a place and purpose for generosity.
VIRTUAL HYMN SINGS
Worship the Lord and bond through hymnal music with your congregational community, through a virtual hymn sing. This can be hosted live through a Zoom virtual choir, or be prerecorded and edited into a video to share with the entire congregation and community.
Create a holiday kit with crafts, candles and worship elements for the holiday season and offer them to households in your congregation.
IMPORTANT COPYRIGHT INFORMATION
Please note that your services or events may contain music that is copyright protected. In order to avoid any potential issues, consider subscribing to CCLI Church Copyright License. For more information on this topic and about CCLI, click HERE