Easter take-away spirituality

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 and community?

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.

Some questions:

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 remember Easter.

Isn’t this just rampant individualism?
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 mission impact?
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.