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Celebrating with a Group

Celebration can (and should!) infuse everything we do together as a church community. Here are some ideas to spark your creativity.

In Worship

  • 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.
  • Consider launching a milestone ministry to celebrate meaningful special occasions in the lives of your congregants both in worship and in other settings. The book Celebrating the Milestones of Faith: A Guide for Churches by Laura Keeley and Robert J. Keeley and the website of Milestones Ministry are both helpful resources.
  • Build a worship service or series around the biblical concept of celebration. The article Come, Celebrate by Rolf Bouma on 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.
  • Cooking group: Explore the connection between celebration and feasting as you read and cook your way through Robert Farrar Capon’s The Supper of the Lamb: A Culinary Reflection.
  • 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.”

In Intergenerational Groups

At Home

Family celebrations are important opportunities to form faith and have fun. See our resources for Practicing Celebration as a Family.