Gavin Tyte was one of those who led the way for the development of great Christmas videos with this Beatbox Nativity:
Roger Carswell warmly narrates this graphic and asks the question, “are you ready for what God wants to give you this Christmas?” You pick up an accompanying book and free downloads of posters, invites and the high definition version of this video here.
Three years ago Glen Scrivener produced a brilliant one-shot video. It appeals to the human nature to want to label ourselves and one another as it helps us to consider which of the ‘four kinds’ we are, after all everyone loves working out their ‘type’. There’s an interactive website and book, which could be a great conversation starter.
ITN and the Jerusalem Productions have created two powerful videos reminding people about the Christian meaning of Christmas as an antidote to all the commercialisation, tinsel and drunken partying!
The first one of those is this one – Is he drunk? Is he in a parallel universe? Or is this divine intervention?
“Jesus: Truth or Fairytale?” a Christmas video resource aimed at 16-19 year olds. For many young people Christmas is a fairytale, a nice story we repeat each year. This video asks the question, what if God really came to town?
The video features Meg Cannon reciting a spoken word piece that brings back the grit, humanity and truth into the nativity story, and then questions what that might change. If Jesus’ birth was a real event, what does that mean for me and what does that mean for you?
Kicking off this year’s Christmas videos, is a new one from the Bible Society and Dai Woolridge:
This year’s spoken truth is on the theme of Mess. Mess. It’s just one word. One syllable that brings to mind a whole load of images….messy ones! And at Christmas time, this one messy syllable word seems to shift into top gear! I think of the post-Christmas dinner-plate pile-up in the kitchen and the décor of celebration wrappers between the sofas (the Malteaser ones!)
It’s fair to say there was a fair bit of mess at the very first Christmas too. As Mary and Joseph trekked down to Bethlehem for a census, there was no room for them to stay. So the young couple welcomed Jesus into the world, with a bunch of animals as his roommates (some scholars claim it was almost as bad as living with students).
But Jesus didn’t just enter the mess of a downstairs room with a feeding trough, he entered the mess of our world too. It was a message that has been posted in versus throughout scripture, one will come to fix up the mess. And if we invite him, he even enters the mess of our lives and offers to fix us.
The Christmas story involves Mess, but it’s about the one who was born in the Mess. You see ‘Mess’ is only central to the Christmas story when it’s an abbreviation. When it’s followed up with 3 letters i.a.h. – it changes everything.
Kay Morgan-Gurr who is a fantastic children’s evangelist, has written a brilliant article following on from the Archbishop of Canterbury hosting a cutting edge disability conference at Lambeth Palace on July 13th called ‘A Place to Belong‘:
The heart for change was alive and well, but for change to happen this heart also needs to be alive and well in those who were not at the conference. We need change where the rubber hits the road, and I’m worried that the outcomes of this will only reach the already convinced and not the people who really need to hear it. …
It’s often the case that many churches – though not all – think inclusion begins and ends with a ramp. Most will provide for those of us with wheels, but even then some do it badly. In their minds, they’ve already ticked the discrimination box.
Disability is diverse, in both the range of disabilities and the type of support needed. There may be practical inclusion adjustments in a church, but the attitude is poor. This is why many in the disability community use the term ‘belonging’. It’s much more than inclusion. To quote John Swinton, who was at the conference, ‘Belonging is being missed when you’re not there.’ Or in my own words, it’s being missed for who you are, not a sigh of relief because the disabled person hasn’t turned up.
Students and staff from St Mellitus led by Jane Williams, Assistant Dean and Tutor in Theology, have written a beautiful Mothering Sunday liturgy for Mothers’ Union which can be downloaded below:
The Mothers’ Union also have to offer a number of additional NEW Mothering Sunday resources for the use of Churches and Children’s groups.
Someone probably should have told this church that there’s more than a few ‘Hail Mary’ carols.
Sadly they choose rapper 2Pac’s version. Not the most suitable lyrics!
The Church in Colombo were hosting their carol service ‘Joy To The World’ last year when this mistake happened. They were meant to be singing a Catholic prayer, also called ‘Hail Mary’, when they spotted the wrong lyrics.
Pictures have since spread on social media, with people sharing those 2Pac’s lyrics. Here’s just a little snippet:
‘I ain’t a killer but don’t push me
Revenge is like the sweetest joy next to getting p*ssy
Picture paragraphs unloaded, wise words being quoted
Peeped the weakness in the rap game and sewed it
Bow down, pray to God hoping that he’s listening
Seeing niggas coming for me, to my diamonds, when they glistening
Now pay attention, rest in peace father
I’m a ghost in these killing fields’