theJourney to Christmas: finding God in our own traditions

theJourney URLOn Saturday 29th November, the ChYPs Ministry team held theJourney to Christmas: a diocesan youth event celebrating the beginning of Advent. All Saints Church inCanterbury was filled with good music courtesy of the Change Youth Band theJourney Caf, interactive worship stations exploring the nativity story including Christian Aids raucous race to the manger – and young people from across the diocese who were challenged to find God in their own family Christmas Traditions. theJourney to Advent attempted to inspire everyone to not only appreciate and enjoy each of our favourite Christmas Traditions – those things that we simply have to do in order for it to ‘feel’ like Christmas – but to reflect on how we could find God in those very traditions. Could watching ‘Home Alone’ or ‘Elf’ with friends and/or family be a ‘God-moment’? Could decorating the tree together, or helping cook dinner or (my favourite response from the night) “keeping out of the way” be worshipful?

theJ Nov2014minicollageWe used the journeys of each of the nativity characters to explore how they made their way to the manger, and kept asking the question, “how do we get to the manger on Christmas morning?” We hoped interacting with these creative activities would help us all to normalise seeing God in our everyday. We don’t need to ‘know the right words’ to pray, or worship, or await the celebration of the coming of Christ.
The iJourney stations included:
– blindfolded Scalextric racing,
– reflecting on those who avoid Christmas,
– being challenged to think about Mary’s journey (thanks to Christian Aid!),
– writing a pledge: “this Christmas I will…”,
– tweeting on the hashtag #christmasis as @thejourneyangel (well worth a quick read),
– taking a few moments to rest up in the Donkey Resting Area
– and finding refreshment in theJourney Cafe with the hospitable Innkeeper!
If you are interested the instructions for the iJourney stations can be downloaded here theJ Nov2014 star

Each person left with a small wooden star, representing the star from the story who is always present, to remind them through advent to think about the ever present presence of Immanuel: “God with us”.

theJourney would be quite impossible without the amazing team who give up their time to make sure it happens each year.
theJourney will be back in 2015!

posted by @murrage

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