Once upon a time. In a simpler pre-covid age, Sofa wrote a little thing about Alternative Christmas Service Ideas, and as a post. Its fine. You can argue some of it could be adjusted for a socially distanced church service, but… some of them might take work.
With that in mind, may I present* the Church Sofa…
Alternative – Socially Distanced – Christmas Service Ideas…
Ok. Lets face it. Inviting a group of people anywhere may not be the best the thing to do right now. So – lets bring it to the people. Find a heavily pregnant lady and ask her to walk around the local streets. Knocking on peoples door, asking if theres any room in the inn.
Add a hassled husband into the mix.
Have a live donkey with them as well. Don’t forget to walk the long donkey up to the house whilst they are being asked if there is any room. Bonus points if the donkey leaves any “bonus” gifts on the door step. It will add to the atmosphere.
Have a socially distanced choir follow the couple and donkey.
Livestream a Christmas reading. Just outside the open window to a labour ward. See if any “bonus sounds” get picked up.
Live stream a reading of the shepherds, in the light of a camp fire. Possibly on the church carpert. Granted someone on the PCC / a Deacon / Church Wardens, may come after you, but the young people will love it. Besides. It might be a while until anyone notices.
Do you normally have a midnight service? Try and have drop a little bottle of port around everyones houses. See if anyone has it by the time the service starts.
Is there anyone pregnant in your church? Get them to change their Facebook name to “Mary”, then a few days before encourage her say she has to go on a journey… and the travel arrangements aren’t great.
Imagine, somewhere out there, someone is typing up some hymns to be sung at Church. The Sofa family once used Microsoft Publisher for this, and occasionally… mistakes were made. (Don’t worry, someone in the church family lovingly pointed it out)
What if, someone typed up church songs and hymns, while depending on autocorrect?What would autocorrected church hymns look like? (Or at least the chorus anyway…)
Amazing Grace How sweet the sound That saved a wrench like me I once was lost but now am found Was blind but now I see
O lord my god When I in awesome wonderful Consider all the people they’re hands have made I see the attached I hear the rolling thunder They’re power throughout the universal displayed
Holler holler holler lord god almighty Early in the morning our song shall raise to thee Holler holler holler Mercifully and mighty God in three persons, Blessings trinity
Blessings for the lord Oh my days oh my gosh Worship his holy Bible Sing like never beforehand, o my soul I’ll worship your holy name
Yesterday, today’s, and foreign? You are the same, you never change, Yesterday, today’s, and foreign? You are faithful, cor well trusting you.
Be thought my vision O lord of my hearts Naughty be all else to me, save that thou artist Thought my best though by day or by nights Waking it sleeping Thy presences my Lightyear
Can I talk Bible Studies for one moment? Or at least Bible Study notes? It feels like a product of another time, but our Church went through a time when we were all given bible study booklets for each new study we did in homegroups.
We have built a little collection of Bible study notes over the years, and have had a conversation about what to do with them.
Here’s the list of ideas that we’ve not agreed on.
Build a fort
Create a sheltered passage way to church*.
Build an army of paper plans.
Write down your answers, go back and look at them in a years time. Get hung up on how you got to that answer.
Cut them up and use them as wrapping paper this Christmas.
Use them as conversation starters with your church leader.
Give them as gifts to your neighbours.**
Keep them long enough for your Church to use them again. Use previous notes to appear really clever and that you know what you’re talking about.
Do you host the bible study at home? (You know… when Coronavirus isn’t a thing). Do you need to do some decorating? Are you after some wrapping paper? You know what to do…
Roll them all up, and tape them together. Creating some sort of scriptural flavoured social distancing enforcer bat.
Any other ideas I should add?
*For when it’s safe and sensible to go back obviously…
Back when this Covid thing first started, Sofa tried to be helpful, and created a flowchart for people to follow to help decide if they should go to a church thing or not. (This was back when Church things were a… thing*).
So… I figured I would try an “updated version”.
It may have ran out of my control a little bit…
*For whats its worth, a lot of others things were also a “thing” back then! (EG. Pints inside, eating out… and warm…, questionable hand hygiene etc)
Let’s face it. Everything is online these days, you don’t need me to tell you why, we all know the reason why. We know everything is online now, from church services to conferences and training. So how do you have fun at these things, when you are socially distanced away from your partner in crime?
May we share some ideas with our 10 Games During an Online Christian Conference.
If you’re on a zoom call, what’s the weirdest book you can have in the background? Yet, still very biblical? For example, is there anything about “Song of Songs” you could put up there?
WhatsApp messages to a friend see if you can make them laugh on the call.
Do you know the number of the person presenting? See if their phone is on silent?
If on camera, try and write a secret message involving notes pinned to the wall behind you.
How much do your pyjamas look like normal clothes? See what other people think.
Test yourself. How much coffee can you drink before the first break.
On a zoom chat? Try and set it so your camera displays a static image of you. Pretend you’re having technical difficulties.
Be kind to the person presenting, and deliver a gift to their home. Bonus points if you can manage it, whilst they are presenting. (Only works if you know the person, and they are presenting from home – or its just weird)
If there’s a group chat, see how many people you can encourage to start using bizarre phrases within the chat. Use phrases like “hedge of protection” or “pivot” like they are normal, and see who else catches on.
Can you get away with going to the toilet? (Top tip. THIS DOES NOT APPLY TO VIDEO CALLS.)
Are there any I’ve missed out? For example, could there be a way to brainwash Shine Jesus Shine into people’s heads?