From the NT, QLD and WA, who’s having themselves a merry little Christmas?
It’s the most wonderful time of the year again with Christmas just around the corner. Eternity rang around some churches to ask how the carols sound, how productions are shaping up, and what kind of messages are brewing.
The Multicultural Christian Fellowship, Northern Territory
More than 30 people will be involved in this year’s Christmas choir, play and special dance performance. Last year the church had new people who got to grasp the true meaning of Christmas and experience the joy and life-changing message the season brings. “Christmas is really about the person of God,” says Pastor Cesar Mangohid. “A lot of people are about the commercialised Christmas.” The purpose behind their Christmas event is the birth of Christ. Pastor Cesar says, “It is important because of the message of salvation that God offered regardless of culture and background.” For their upcoming community event, they are expecting up to 300 people on the eve of December 9.
Newcastle, Belair Baptist Church
“People are more willing to hear a Christian message,” says Rosalee Cook, office secretary of Belair Baptist of the Christmas season, “and it’s our opportunity to link in with the community. This year the church will hold a carols by candlelight event with stalls, food, and a jumping castle. This year they decided to add a magician into their program and some farm animals. Last year brought a thunder storm so they were unable to hold the carols night. Rosalee says if weather permits, this year is aimed at building relationships with people in the community so that they will see church is non-threatening and will want to come back.
Adelaide, Unley Park Baptist Church
Robyn, Unley Park’s office assistant, says Christmas is an important time for Christians and non-Christians in their community. That’s why they’re holding a street party and carols service on December 9. She says locals are most happy to come to church at this time of year and it’s the biggest opportunity they have to introduce them to the local church. In preparation for this, the church distributed several letterbox leaflets hoping locals will attend and regulars will be encouraged to bring their friends to their street party.
Perth, Mighty Living Waters Life Fellowship
The meaning of Christmas comes all year round for this church as Pastor Ruby Thiagarajah puts it. She says that they don’t have a big celebration, but aim to make the message of Jesus meaningful 365 days in a row. However, on the December 23, the church will throw a party for the children. “We have already got all the gifts for the kids a month before,” says Pastor Ruby. A program is set up on a Christmas theme a month prior to Christmas. Also on the 23rd the church is planning a Christmas fellowship meeting to enjoy each other’s company and to acknowledge what everyone has done in the year. Ruby says it’s an important day for the kids. “We tell them it’s not about the gifts… No matter how young they are, Christmas is about Jesus. I always tell them on Christmas day to take a little time to thank Jesus for what he has done and for the gifts they have received.”
Sydney, Scots Presbyterian Church
On December 23, this urban church is holding a carols event for those in the City district. It’s an annual get-together, and Dr Ian C Barclay says, an incarnation of the Lord Jesus Christ. The event is unique because it caters to those who are staying on holidays in the CBD and specifically those in the local hotels. Christmas carols are additionally held in local hotels on Christmas Eve at 11.15pm and Christmas day at 10.30am.
Queensland, Centro Church
Everyone in church is in preparation mode for the upcoming production, A Colourful Christmas. Associate Pastor, Paul McCulloch says the preparations began in October, which is later than when they usually begin. The theme for the production is “Emmanuel” and will run for three nights from December 16-18. Pastor Paul says it’s important the church runs an event like this for the sake of non-church folks who like to come at Christmas and Easter. He says they have had a few people who now come to church because of the annual productions they produce each Christmas. The production is musical and focuses on what Jesus represents namely, peace and hope. Tickets are available for $5 or $15 per family.
Queensland, Citipointe Church
Citipointe Church is hosting a free family concert, which will involve over 100 actors, dancers, singers and crew members. Production Manager of Christmas Lights Concert Ms Joey Ryan says, “We are so excited to be expanding the show this year to over two spectacular nights due to an overwhelming community response.” The event is said to be one of Brisbane’s biggest carol events. “A Christmas show like no other – absolutely brilliant!” Ms Ryan says.