So today we held our first Easter Service, and it was pretty cool! Jesus is risen – hallelujah. What a reason for a celebration. You could say our church is not a traditional church. Most of our neighbours are not Christians and there are high levels of spiritual apathy, so how do you deliver a service that engages your neighbours but delivers the good news of Jesus. We gave this quite a bit of thought and here is what we came up with.
Most (maybe all) people who live in our neighbourhood are not university /college educated, there are higher levels of illiteracy and some don’t have good levels of English – they speak only Spanish. People seem to engage more with God through worship, imagery, creativity, interaction and relationship. We want to combine some of these things in our expression of church.
Between now and June we are holding a community meal each week around a different theme. We have thought long and hard over the past few months about what we are inviting people to. Is it a traditional service or something different? It may eventually be a more structured type of church but we are not ready for this yet. Today was a great time to start this series. We invited lots of neighbours, made some food and asked those coming to bring a lot more, organised an easter egg hunt and focused on a theme of new life. About 30 people came to church today.
It was a lot of fun. We had a great time eating together. We had a great time involving everybody in the Easter egg hunt. This included the the Mexican tradition of ‘Cascaron’. Filling the eggs with flour and confetti and breaking them over peoples heads. Me and Jennie loved it, Kora not so much. Our theme of new life centred around a large tree, with people asked to pin their hopes for new life onto the tree. This could be hope in an improving financial situation, a changing relationship, health needs etc.
We then shared a simple message in both English and Spanish. Jesus resurrection brings us all into a new season of life and hope, and we offered prayer to people who were present. Some asked us to pray for them over the next week. We have included some photos below so that you can get more of an idea of how the day looked. Next week is our housewarming, and we will focus on the importance of what it means to have a place called home, sharing another message around the prodigal son. Please keep praying that this goes well.
Helping ourselves to some food.
The finished tree, with everyone’s hopes. A few neighbours asked if they could take this home.