Celebration can (and should!) infuse everything we do together as a church community. Here are some ideas to spark your creativity.
Experiment with “dinner church” as described in Kendall VanderSlice’s book We Will Feast. Consider repeating your experiment every time there’s a “fifth Sunday” in the month.
Convene a group to explore how to infuse your congregation’s experience of baptism, the Lord’s Supper, and profession of faith with new elements of joy and celebration. Include teens and young adults in this planning group.
Build a worship service or series around the biblical concept of celebration. The article Come, Celebrate by Rolf Bouma on ReformedWorship.org is a helpful example.
Extend the practice of celebration outside your church walls by considering how your congregation can help celebrate important events in your local community.
In Small Groups
Discussion topic: In A Habit Called Faith, Jen Pollock Michel writes, “Although Christians have a long and unfortunate history of making every pleasure a guilty one, this narrative [of the wedding at Cana] doesn’t tolerate asceticism for its own sake. No, it tells us that God can be as comfortable at a party as he is in the church pew—that our habits of faith can be as celebratory as they are contemplative” (p. 132). Read the Cana wedding story in John 2. Then discuss:
How celebratory are your own habits of faith?
Can you picture Jesus celebrating and being joyful just as easily as you can picture Jesus preaching and being serious? Why or why not?
What were family celebrations like in your growing up years? How has that shaped your own ability to celebrate?
How might we invite Jesus to be at the center of significant celebrations today?
Book study: For a deeper dive, read and discuss the book The Gift of Wonder by Christine Aroney-Sine. Talk about how wonder is tied to celebration and joy.
Sharing highs and lows: Make a habit of celebrating together by sharing each person’s “high” and “low” life experiences since the last time you met. Joyfully celebrate the “highs” together; pray for and support each other in the “lows.”