Around now might be the time you are bending your mind to events and services for September to December 2018. Along with some of the red letter days, I’ve collated a number of other ideas. The “usual suspects” are listed below along with – I hope – some other useful ideas and links.
If you have any ideas to add then please do share them via a comment – maybe with links – on this post. In next year’s version of this post I’d love to include your ideas and credit you.
Back to School – the church hub website has loads of ideas around the theme of a Back to School Service or Assembly.
1st September to 4th October – Creationtide – or the ‘Season of Creation’ is the period in the annual church calendar (from 1st September to 4th October) dedicated to God as Creator and Sustainer of all life. The link takes you to some resources from the CofE Environment Programme
You might think about joining the “Who Cares” Initiative. As their website says by way of explanation …
” Everybody hurts but not everybody has hope. WHO CARES? is a nationwide initiative where churches are working together to listen to the needs of local people and offer compassion and hope. You can tell us what hurts you the most, hear true life stories of ordinary people working through painful times, as well as connect with people who care.”
This page explains a bit more about how churches can get involved – there is a cost but you’ll need to contact them to take the discussion further.
Alternatively how about the free SHAPE course. Materials are for six sessions (2 hours each) for church groups, to help people discern their gifts for God’s service. I found this resource via Oxford Diocese’s Rural Officer facebook page – and made available here from Carlisle Diocese without copyright restrictions.
The course was created by Canon Amiel Osmaston (Ministry Development Officer for the Anglican Diocese of Carlisle).
6th-9th, 13th-16th (Friday-Sunday) Heritage Open Days – an inclusive event, encouraging different interpretations of heritage and culture around the country. Follow the link for more information. Why not open up bits of your church not normally available to the public? To take part you need to meet four criteria and register by 1st August 2018.
999 Day – Maybe a theme for a Sunday Service? “The Emergency Services Day will begin at 9am on 9th September annually (9th hour of the 9th day of the 9th month) with two minutes’ silence. The inaugural 999 day today (9/9/18) will take place in Heaton Park, Manchester.”
The theme is devised by an ecumenical steering group representing different Christian denominations and organisations.
For some years it has been celebrated on the ninth Sunday before Easter, however from 2016, after extensive consultation, it will be celebrated on the second Sunday in September to coincide with the start of the school year.
19th (Wednesday), 21st (Friday) & 22nd (Saturday) – Harvest Ember Days – as the linked to site explains ….
Ember Days are a three-day period of prayer and fasting which recurs four times over the course of the year. By ancient tradition there are four periods of Ember Days, corresponding with the four seasons: they fall in the weeks following the first Sunday in Lent, Whitsun, the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross (September 14), and St Lucy’s Day (December 13).
28th (Friday) – Macmillan Coffee Morning – “Every Coffee Morning changes lives. The World’s Biggest Coffee Morning takes place on Friday 28th September 2018. Sign up today and we’ll send you a free kit full of everything you need to host an amazing Coffee Morning of your own.”
7th – Silver Sunday – as their website says
Silver Sunday is an annual day of fun and free activities for older people across the UK. Led by The Sir Simon Milton Foundation, it celebrates the value and knowledge they contribute to our communities while combating loneliness and isolation. Everyone can get involved, whether that’s organising an event, spreading the word, or simply attending an activity.
3rd (Saturday) – National Anglican Fresh Expressions Conference – 10am-4pm, Ely Cathedral, Palace Green, Ely, CB7 4EW. The Diocese of Ely are hosting this which this year will be more like a festival. So why go? Well to quote the fresh expression site …
“Studies conducted between 2012 and 2016 showed 1109 Fresh Expressions of Church identified in 21 UK Dioceses with 50,600 attending. These statistics were just for the Church of England. George Lings, author of the studies reflected “nothing else, as a whole in the Church of England has this level of missional impact and the adding of further ecclesial communities, thereby fueling ecclesial re-imagination.” (Lings ‘Day of Small Things’ pg. 10 2016 )
The Ely Diocese website says a bit more about the event
“Based in Ely Cathedral and surrounding buildings ‘Blended’ will have an immersive and experiential feel. It will explore how Inherited Church and New Christian Communities can partner together. Look out for more details at www.elydiocese.org and www.freshexpressions.org.uk “
Remembering: with the WWI centenary in view, the October issue of Country Way will be exploring how rural churches and communities plan to honour this anniversary along with other aspects of the season of remembrance.
16th (Friday) – BBC Children in Need Appeal – suggestions for connecting with what is happening locally to your church – (from church hub)
Christmas Ideas – the church hub website has some ideas including the new #FollowTheStar campaign.
Other Christmas ideas
Local parent & toddler groups – A great way of making connections with a local parent and toddler group is to invite them to contribute a teddy or similar to a toy nativity.
It’s Christingle’s 50th this year – the Children’s Society Church Team have a Facebook Group for the 50th celbrations
YouTube clips for Christmas to link to in social media or to use elsewhere. This is a selection of those I’ve come across over the years.