Month: November 2010

A packet of cranberries? Christmas events

Christmas is a great time to organise an Activate event. It is a busy time but people are open to invitations that involve ‘Christmasy’ themes. Our Activate group is hosting a Christmas craft event in our church and we have just sold the 100th and last ticket. We are dressed in red aprons and welcome people with hot mulled wine, mince pies and shortbread and hand out gift bags as people arrive. For their £3 ticket they get to make a cranberry heart and then have the chance to buy other crafts as they move around the tables. This year they can make a wreath, a garland, a table centre,cards, a felt match box and a felt heart decoration. The colours are muted or vintage red and green and there are lots of buttons and rustic dried oranges. The church is decorated with loads of fairy lights and we have live piano music in the background. It is a fabulous event and the team have spent months planning and buying.
All that may be too big for you in your situation, it definitley needs a long term team effort! But sometimes the simplest ideas can be most effective. Perhaps this year you could text a handful of friends or neighbours and invite them round for a couple of hours round your kitchen table. Maybe a hot cuppa and a chance to make one simple decoration together would be enough. A packet of fresh cranberries from Tesco, some garden wire and a few pieces of ribbon laid out no your table could become the chance to chat together as you work. Just cut the wire into 50cm strips and shape into a heart or circle. Then thread on the cranberries, and finish off with a twist. Decorate with a loop of ribbon to hang up. Very simple and pretty.
Have some carols playing in the background and leave lying round some invites to another event or Christmas service.

Flash Mob at Christmas – Hallelujah!

Caught up in the Christmas rush yet? The shops are busy already and the Christmas lights are being lit throughout Britain. I happen to love Christmas: the excitement, the spicy smells, the delicious food and the chance to catch up and spend time with friends and family.
But Piped carols and cheesy songs are not my favourite though and I start switching off when the shops play them continously.
There is a new cultural phenomenon called ‘Flash Mob’, or acts of random Culture. So far, I have yet to experience it live but I have seen it on Youtube and it is fantastic! Here is a shopping mall, full of busy Christmas shoppers in November. The ‘jingle bells’ tune is interrupted with the most fabulous rendition of Handel’s Messiah. I wish I had been there, I wish I could have joined in!!

I hope this Christmas you will get a chance to have a spontaneous moment of joy as you stop to think about Jesus and how awesome He is.All the better if others around you are able to catch something of the wonder of who Christmas is all about.

Feedback from London Day Conference 13 November 2010

Dear Activate Team

Thank you so much for a fantastic day conference yesterday. It was really well organised with excellent content, a great welcome and a delicious lunch and the mugs of tea and coffee on tap all day was a real treat! Great to catch up with old friends and make new ones and to spend time worshipping with the band. Really looking forward to the Spa weekend in March now! Thanks for everything you did to make it such a great day xxx

I know a Young Woman who Swallowed a Lie

I’ve just published a new book which readers may find interesting and useful. It is called I Know a Young Woman who Swallowed a Lie (God Songs from Odd Songs).

In it I have taken 76 nursery rhymes and traditional community songs (odd songs) and have explained their history (often fascinating and some very gruesome!) and have shown how and why they form an integral part of our British heritage and are so important to our learning process.

Then, retaining the same rhyming, rhythm and format of the original songs, I have adapted them into God Songs, which tell the story of the Judeo-Christian heritage as told in the Bible from Genesis to Revelation.

I have used wit and humour, and tried to produce a medium that can happily be used for believers or non-believers from about 8 years old up to adulthood. It would make a great Christmas present, but would also be good to put on the coffee table, as a discussion starter, or for guests to browse through. More details on my website.

I am very happy to visit outreach groups and use my book as a light hearted (cringe-free!) way of sharing the Gospel with folk who are not particularly familiar with the message of the Bible. I can be contacted on or or 01580 762724

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