November 20, 2006

Christmas Festival

Last week, I got an idea.

The idea was to have a small Christmas festival at church, with crafts, ornament-making, cookie-decorating, refreshments, music, and storytelling, geared toward children & families, but also providing an opportunity for church members to volunteer and enjoy fellowship with one another while reaching out to the community. The more I thought about it, the better I liked the idea.

I made some phone calls to various people to see if they thought it was a good idea as well, and if so, what date would work for them. Mostly, I left messages on answering machines. Then I realized that there are thousands of new families moving in to a brand-new community just a few miles from here, and I needed to advertise and let them know about the event, and let them know that there's a church here. I called two local newspapers; one, the monthly volunteer paper that I write a column for, and the other, a monthly supplement to the "real" newspaper in town that is delivered to all the new homes in the new community. Both papers told me that the ad deadline for their next issue was Friday.

The messages I left had not yet been returned, but I went ahead and placed the ads. I placed the ads on faith, given that the event was so far no more than an idea in my head. Now the ads are placed, and there's less than three weeks until the big event.

This is probably one of the craziest things I've done as pastor. I have no idea whether to expect 2 children (my own) or 50, which would be quite overwhelming. But I've learned that our 148 year-old church needs to start thinking in new ways. I've learned that I as pastor need to think like a new-church pastor in some ways in order to reach out to a rapidly changing community. I've learned that we need to take risks if we want to succeed.

I'll let you know how it turns out.

1 comment:

the reverend mommy said...

I'm now associate at a 158 year old church and that's the age of most of the members....
I enjoy reading about your journey and I love your thoughtful and contemplative postings (like your poetry a couple of days ago.)
Blessings on you and yours this Thanksgiving!