By Rose Meeder, Volunteer Host at Connexus Church in Orillia
Christmas is such a cool time of year.
Of course, for me, as a Christian, it is a celebration of the birth of Jesus and recognizing with awe, once again, that it was God’s plan from the very beginning to come and “be with us”. I love that. Emmanuel means “God with us” and I think it is my favourite way to address God at this time of year. Addressing God as “Emmanuel” just makes me feel less lonely, more understood and oh so deeply loved.
Christmas is also a universal time of changing up our routine and hitting the ‘pause’ button for at least a moment.
No matter what people believe about Christmas, it seems relatively well understood that sometime during the season of Christmas most people will either spend time with family, connect with some friends, or even treat themselves to some special alone time in honour of it being ‘Christmas’.
Whether those times are joyful or stressful or both! The season we find ourselves in at Christmas is universally noted as different than any other time of year. And because it is ‘different’ and ‘special’, people often engage in certain behaviours and traditions that are a bit different than other times during the year.
Hang with me here, we are going to bring your friends to church!
Yes, because you know what else? Christmas is a time of year when it’s not weird to invite your friends to church. I have found that people almost expect to be invited. Seriously! the conversation often goes like this:
“Hey, do you have a church service that you go to with your family/friends at christmas? No?…Oh! well, then you should come to Connexus! It’s actually a Christmas service for anybody and everybody. They actually EXPECT that people who don’t go to church anywhere else, will come to Connexus on Christmas Eve and they love that. That’s totally what they do! They are a church for people who don’t go to church anywhere else and they make their Christmas service the best service of the whole year! Let me know if I can reserve a seat for you because it always sells out!”
That’s when you say the service is free and is only an hour long, they probably know some other mutual friends who will be there, bla bla bla! and it’s set! They are in! 🙂 … A lot of times, not all the time, but yes, they are in.
And then, a fun tradition that my husband and I have started is inviting everybody back to our house for a drink afterwards … it’s great!
Believe me, our after-church conversations have gone so many cool places. I often at least find out what sort of church or non-church background my friends come from, and whether we segue from there to how they can get to know God better or what’s the best way to brew beer, it’s all good. Always a great conversation 🙂
So go crazy and stay cool, invite your friends to church. You will love it, they will love it and well, I will love hearing the story after, too. Good luck.
Rose lives in Orillia with her husband Rob and their four children. She is a runner and an active member of Connexus Church. She is passionate about genuine human connection and sharing people’s authentic stories on her podcast, Intersection, where she explores the stories, struggles, and experiences of people who are on their own faith journey. You can listen to her podcast by heading to www.iwrzm.com or listening on iTunes.