Sharing best practices is a great way to get the creative juices flowing! The staff at St. Isidore developed a Make This Year Different campaign for Christmas. This campaign models reaching out to the unchurched and unaffiliated, hospitality, engaging the wider community through volunteer efforts, and ecumenism – all aspects of the Mission Direct area of Engagement.
Chris Kozlowski shared the details with us:
This Advent, St. Isidore is launching a special campaign to help bring our parish family together, and we are calling it Make This Year Different. You may be thinking "different from what?" The answer is: different from different. In the last year, due to COVID-19, we became used to this "different" — working from home, meetings from home, watching Mass at home, and even a virtual Christmas at home. But what was different became the norm. It’s time to come back together. To celebrate, to worship, and to connect with God through the Eucharist, together as a parish family.
So, what does this consist of?
We are excited to share three events. The first is a family event called, The Ugly Sweater Christmas Party on Saturday, December 4 at 5:30 PM. This party will have fun things to do for the whole family including pizza, cookie decorating, crafts, Cornhole and other Christmas games, a Christmas sweater contest, and a visit from Santa!
The second is a worship event, Advent Modern Worship, on Friday, December 10 at 7 PM. This ecumenical experience will be similar to the Advent Series nights we've done in past years. Contemporary worship will be led by our praise band with music from today's top Christian artists. We are excited to bring back Lutheran Pastor Rob Zahn to share an inspiring and relevant message. Pastor Rob's message will answer the question, What do Picasso, the Nintendo Wii, and Jesus all have in common? Come on December 10 and find out.
The final event is a service opportunity that we're calling, the Christmas Call Center. Much of our church family is still worshipping at home or perhaps not at all. Advent and Christmas are great opportunities to reach out. We are looking for volunteers to call other parishioners, check in on them, pray with them, and invite them to Mass at Christmas and beyond. There is nothing stronger than a personal invitation. For those of you that might think you are too shy, no worries…We'll provide you with talking points to help inspire confidence. This activity can be done at home on your own time, BUT we are also going to host an in-person Christmas Call Center event on Saturday, December 18 between 9 AM and noon. Come drop by anywhere in that time and let’s come together to inspire hope and community in our parish family.
In addition to the family, worship, and service events, this campaign is also about getting the word out to our families, friends, and neighbors …and we have free and fun tools to help you do that!
First, pick up a free yard sign to place in your front yard. It’s a great way to let others know about Christmas at St. Isidore. Second, we have a magnet for you to place on your refrigerator to remind you to make this advent + Christmas different this year. And third…our Christmas Photo Booth. Stop by anytime this Advent to take some photos in front of our beautiful Christmas backdrop. You take the physical print with you, we'll email you a digital print, and you could be featured as a part of our Make This Year Different campaign online.
Another way you can help make this year different is to donate a new coat to our Christmas Coat drive to help those who are less fortunate in our community. Just bring your new coat in and drop it in one of our wrapped boxes.
As you can see, there are a lot of great ways to get involved and commit to Making This Year Different. Visit stisidore.church/christmas to learn more.