"I know it's going to
be harder this year because it was horrible last year.
Those of you who keep an eagle eye on ALTERnativity’s work, will know that we have been dipping a toe into a new strategic area these last few months. With the support of the Scottish Government and advice from Joseph Rowntree Fund, we have been trying to understand what it means to feel lonely at Christmas.
Christmas is not quite upon us, but ALTERnativity – a charity which seeks to help churches and communities to understand and simplify Christmas - is gearing up for the festive season.
Some of us are have turned our steps towards Easter; bypassing the life of the Christ child in anticipation of his death.
It is hard to believe that today, in a split second, pre-Christmas excitement in Glasgow turned to eerie silence and the world came crashing down on many families. Christmas Day, for many, will never look the same again.
BBC Radio Scotland invited us to speak with Cathy MacDonald about ALTERnativity. During the programme, we read the poem Make me an Angel, by John Bell.
It’s easy to despair
as we think of the world
Recently at a meeting in the school my boys attend, the head teacher said, “A third of the families at this school will miss meals in order to buy the latest toy for Christmas.”
winter we are told a fairy tale. But the Christmas of the shopping
centre, the fraught children’s nativity scene, the Victorian hymns and
over–eating are not the story of the season. The real tale is much
grittier: a story of women, angels and revolution.
Could you make your Christmas more simple?
At this time of year, it’s hard not to get strung out on stress and overspending on bigger and bigger presents. A thoughtful celebration turns into a quick nativity play and a long time in the kitchen. And families almost always turn up displaying their cheesiest jumpers and their worst behaviour.
And it came to pass in those days that there went out a decree from the Chancellor of the Exchequer that all of Britain should go shopping. The decree was first made when leading economic indicators dipped to their lowest point. All went out to shop – each to his own shopping mall.
Well, the conversations have started. You’ll have heard them too, I imagine: on the bus; in the pub; in the work canteen.
How do we begin to change traditions around Christmas which have built up over the years, but which many find inappropriate in the celebration of Jesus birth?
And, verily, the lady Angel said unto Zechariah, “Relax! The age of austerity has been suspended for a few weeks so that we can gorge ourselves on lashings of plum pudding and bubbly and buy ourselves posh frocks for the Party Season!”.
It has come to our attention that, in the conversations folder, ‘Angels at work” has the wrong text. To access the complete set of bible studies; http://www.alternativity.org.uk/resources/handout-downloads/ or email email@example.com for a copy.
This latest resource is nearly ready and looks at the role of the angels in the Christmas story and their relevance for life today.
You’ve got to think this is not the part Joseph had auditioned for.
We have been contacting our email users over the last few months to ask for a donation for our work.
Young people have been getting a raw deal recently. Children and young people have been categorised into a junk-food eating, hoodie-wearing, knife-carrying feral breed.
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