December 19, 2018

Five Resources to Prepare for Christmas

This month we offer five resources to help your congregation prepare for Christmas. Please share this digest with new members of your vestry and extend an invitation to subscribe to ECF Vital Practices to receive Vestry Papers and the monthly digest.

1. This Advent Parish Checklist by Cathy Carpenter is a great tool for churches preparing for Christmas, ensuring they are ready to receive and welcome visitors (among other useful ideas). Check out this handy resource and learn new ways to be better prepared for this festive and important time.

2. In Christmas Reality and Budget Strategy, Greg Syler asks some important questions about how we may leverage the fact that many churches will be welcoming not just visitors, but church members who may not have worshipped in the church since last Christmas. How are you planning to capitalize on your fuller sanctuaries? How might your Christmas attendees be better invited to further your church’s mission?

3. In The Best Gift—A Visit, Annette Buchanan reminds us to be attentive to those who might need a friendly visit. Advent and Christmas are seasons naturally filled with joy, but for some they bring despair. How might your church respond this year to those who are home-bound, suffering from loss, loneliness or illness?

4. How do you maintain peace and joy through all the hustle and bustle leading up to Christmas? In Finding the Christ Child at Christmas, David Prentice shares some encouragement and food for thought. If you’re wondering how to keep things grounded in the reason for the season, this is a good article for you.

5. Need a quick pick me up? On Christmas Pageant…and Chaos is a short piece by Richelle Thompson celebrating the sheer joy and unpredictability of our children in their Christmas pageants. What metaphors might you identify in your own church’s Christmas or Epiphany pageant?