Check out our ideas for an Intergenerational Advent: A Season of Love and Service:
Mary and Joseph were told, "Sorry, no room!" time and time again as they looked for a place to stay in Bethlehem.
We can prepare our hearts and make room for Jesus this Christmas, and share His love with others, by saying "sorry".
Incorporate a prayer station/activity in a service or event by inviting children and adults alike to consider if they need to say sorry to God or someone else this Christmas season.
Offer trays of sand in which they can write a 'sorry prayer in the sand, then brush it away as a reminder that they are forgiven.
FOR Your Community
Share Christ's love with your neighbourhood this Christmas by offering an opportunity for people to remember & honour loved ones who have passed away or can't be with them.
1. Host a Remembrance Service (or segment in your community Christmas event) where you offer time for people to add a decoration to a tree or light a candle.
Song suggestions: 'Love is Christmas' - Sara Bareilles. 'Oh, Light' - Gungor. 'Somewhere in Your Silent Night' - Casting Crowns.
2. Take this meaningful invitation to your neighbours by setting up a Remembrance Tree in a public space in your community. eg. your op shop, outdoor area on church property, or a community space, like the public library.
Community members can take a decoration, write the name of a loved one on it, and add it to the tree.
Materials needed: Christmas tree, sign with invitation/instructions, decorations (eg. colourful ribbon, card tags on twine, shells with string attached) and markers to write names on them.
Support families to turn their focus to sharing Christ's love through acts of service and giving by resourcing them at home.
1. Download our free Service / Generosity Advent Calendar here! It gives 24 ideas for serving others through December. Families can insert these in their own advent calendars, or use it as a checklist! Print in colour on A4 card.
2. And/or invite families to take part in the giving manger ritual. Provide families a small manger, bundle of hay and a baby figure, then invite them to place one piece of hay in the mange anytime someone in the family performs a generous act throughout Advent. On Christmas Day, the baby Jesus is placed in a manger full of kindness, generosity and love. Mangers can easily be made with popsicle sticks, and baby Jesus can be a wooden peg wrapped in fabric.
3. The Ding Dong Dash challenge is taken on by families during the week, with stories (or video evidence!) shared at your weekly gathering. Families leave a gift on a neighbour's doorstep, ring the doorbell, then hide! The catch: you can only take 3 steps to get into a hiding spot. Sure to provide lots of laughter and an enthusiasm for giving!