Steve Taylor : Graceway : Ellerslie,
In New Zealand, Easter is the last holiday before winter. Many people
take a break, and head off to a holiday home (called a bach). Graceway
is committed to sourcing spirituality within contemporary culture. How
to source spirituality, within holiday patterns, without diluting gospel
The church designed
an Easter bach pack, a special takeaway service. Each bach pack consisted
of a plastic container, sand, pipe cleaners and play dough and an order
of service. People were asked to add stones and vegetation, and to build
an Easter garden. They then read the Easter story and talked together
about where they would be if they were in the Easter garden, and what
Jesus might say to them. This could be done as a family group at the bach,
or was done in groups meeting in our regular worship venue.
The week after, as
people returned from holiday, the "gardens" were displayed and the community
shared each other's Easter bach pack spirituality.
Was this giving
into a holiday culture at the expense of a high point of a Christian year?
Well, people would have gone away anyway. The bach packs did help them
Isn't this just
People commented on how they felt much more connected to the Graceway
community, because they were doing something they knew others were doing.
In sharing the week after, Easter did become very communal. Perhaps we
just shifted community from one week to the next?
Did it have any
It was interesting that people not part of our community requested the
bach packs. This included people not well enough to be attend church,
people on the fringes of our community and visitors. It made us appreciate
how even a service time is still inaccessible for people and glad that
we were offering our spirituality beyond Sunday services.
Any other results?
The most fascinating thing was to see how a tactile spirituality linked
with Biblical faith. Ask people to build the garden and they were reaching
for their Bibles, to see how many angels there were, or how many men.
Creative play was essential to Biblical searching.
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