The 2012 London Olympics are here! As the media is constantly reminding us – this is the sporting event of a lifetime! Hosting the Olympics in our country is a very special occasion and one to be treasured. In July 2005 I was attending one of my first Activate trustees committee meetings in a hotel in central London when loud cheering crowds and a display by the Red Arrows above the city alerted us to the fact the London had won the race to host the Olympics. And now the games are upon us!! Does it feel like you have run out of time? Did you miss out on buying tickets through the confusing and expensive lottery system? Or is it just too complicated to organise something in the middle of the school holidays with very unpredictable weather?

It is never too late to activate!!

If you have a TV then you can invite your immediate neighbours to watch the opening ceremony with you as you serve up cupcakes and coffee. Or borrow a projector from your local church and invite the street to watch it on a white sheet tacked up on your wall – serve up small helpings of fish and chips to make it a no-cook British event!
Go for something spontaneous- no committee planning, no tickets, no money in advance- just a gathering of friends with something to celebrate. Sometimes we make our evangelism too contrived and unnatural. Be natural!
Choose your favourite event and start following it through, sending texts to your friends so that you can get excited together, then meet at the local pub to watch the qualifying, the semis, the final and the medal ceremony. Or pick a British star to watch and check their schedule to follow them through. Send them an encouraging email or read their preparations on Twitter.
Perhaps you could host an Olympic celebration for the kids in your neighbourhood. Making medals out of tin foil and creating a ‘Praying for you’ card together would be easy to organise and great fun, remember to post it! Face-painting is always a great attraction, and you don’t have to be very good at it!! Most children love the quiet attention of someone taking time to sit with them and paint on whatever ideas they come up with- just get some low allergy face paints and a mirror. There are lots of red, white and blue snacks to buy cheaply in bulk at the local supermarkets.
More Than Gold has some last minute inspiration and downloadable resources – look out for their follow up leaflets-
http://www.morethangold.org.uk/resources/free-resources.html


Celebrating with people you are already connected with, building relationships and being a focal point to draw neighbours and work colleagues together is valuable and rewarding.

If you can add in a few moments with a ‘wrap-up talk’ that is jargon and cringe free then all the better.
Perhaps you could talk about God valuing everyone – those who actually win and those who look to be in last place. Or Jesus being there to bridge the gap when life feels like a race that we can’t win and can’t complete. Hebrews 12 encourages us to run the race marked out for us.
What do you have planned? Share your ideas and thoughts below…

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  • sarah h

    We held a garden party on Sunday for all the street, which was really easy to organise. Everyone was asked to bring some food and drink to share. We had some simple games organised; egg & spoon, sack race, 3 legged race. We let the children have a go and then a mums race and dad’s race. Each child at the end was awarded a medal! We had a great time and someone else organised a quiz that people could do in their own time.

    We hope to repeat next year.

  • Fiona Castle

    All the local churches in our area have joined together to form an Olympic event lasting two weeks. It has been amazing! We have had 700 children each day attending different activities, with women’s events,quiz nights and fair trade evenings. It has been a wonderful witness to the community and locals are amazed at all they are able to enjoy for free!
    I am working at the Olympic cafe, where they have 4 screens for people to watch the sport as they relax. On Thursday, just before the mums had to pick up their children, there was the women’s pairs rowing event at Dorney. Everyone was riveted and we were all screaming as if we were there. I found myself with tears streaming down my face when our team won, and sobbing when they showed the soldiers In Afghanistan cheering them and waving their Union Jacks!!

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