This promotion from a Kiwi church at the start of Advent disturbed me. 

Jumping straight into Christmas without going through Advent sells their congregation short. It is like licking the icing off rather than biting into the cake – nice sugar rush for a while, but no substance or ongoing benefit. (Yeah I know the analogy is a weak one, there isn’t much benefit in eating cake. But bear with me.)

If their advertising is to be believed, Christmas starts on November 29 and ends on December 20! (Is this a form of truthiness?). I’m not surprised when my local business association advertises “Twelve Days of Christmas” shopping bargains in December, but the Church should know and do better.

A few years ago I attended a Good Friday service that started with the opening hymn, “Up From The Grave He Arose”. 

I am surprised how few non-traditional churches have any idea of the rich heritage of Christian practice that they are standing on. (Trampling on might be a better image). I am also delighted with the increasing number that are starting to shape their life around the rhythms of the church year.  

If there was ever a time in recent history when people needed cake rather than icing, its now. I’m no baker or cake decorator but over the years I have gathered some resources for services celebrating the Church Year. 

After a successful trial this year (“Advent What Are You Waiting For?”) I’ll be offering a series of resourcing webinars based on the significant church and cultural celebrations and observances coming up through 2021. The official promo from Carey Baptist College’s Centre For Lifelong Learning goes like this…


This online resourcing series contains five 75-minute webinars spread through the year that offer resources to pastoral leaders, worship curators and worship leaders for the upcoming season/s and feast days of the Church Year/Church Calendar as well as some Kiwi culture and history. Participants will: 

  • gain an understanding and trust of the “church year” (or Christian Year, or Church Calendar).
  • be encouraged and resourced to try new approaches and methods of engaging their communities in worship around the themes offered by the Church Calendar.
  • become confident about where to find information and resources that will support their new practices.

Each webinar will have a very brief intro/overview of the Church Year that gives context to the specific focus of each webinar. 

These will be offered online through Carey College’s Lifelong Learning Department. Information is here.  

Mark Pierson

Mark Pierson

I've been curating worship for several decades (and coined the term in relation to worship.) I am passionate about the local community of faith and imagining what its worship needs to look/feel/sound/taste like in order to sustain people in their following of Christ in the world.

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