To return nativity scenes to CHRISTmas in the public square nationally. This would involve efforts by individuals, church small groups, Christian business people, local churches, combined churches, and through national media (the Hope Project – CHRISTmas).

WHY?

Christ has been all-but fully removed from CHRISTmas nationally in New Zealand — including Television, print-media, Council decorations, shopfront windows, Christian lyrics in CHRISTmas carols in public places and shopping malls and many shops, CHRISTmas Cards and CHRISTmas decorations for the home.

Churches in our nation’s cities and towns are now progressively being denied continuing involvement in Community CHRISTmas Carol and other gatherings, while others are not being made to feel welcome in CHRISTmas parades – with some offering no option for Christian involvement.

What about other religions?

Many are unaware that we have this free, multi-cultural environment within which many faiths can be freely expressed, expressly because of our Christian heritage. Christianity affirms the freedom of the will in a way that few do.

It additionally affirms the obligation for love and selfless care for the poor and ‘foreigners’. These beliefs have shaped the very way we think.

Just as a tree needs it roots, values within a society do too if they are to be sustained. These values are not ‘self-evident’ as some suppose. A quick look at history reveals this. They are only self-evident in a ‘Christian’ culture – which is what our nation is.

 

Our belief and hope:

The removal of these cultural icons is a disrespect to our cultural forefathers, heritage and values. Yet it remains that we are not powerless. We can maintain a basic respectful Christian presence within Christmas – which is the celebration of Christ’s birth, and that is what Hope Project CHRISTmas is about!

  • Fundraising for both Hope Project Easter and Hope Project CHRISTmas occur in the lead up to Easter annually.

  • National media profile for CHRISTmas only comes about if Hope Project Easter is fully funded.

  • These efforts are needed and, if we see this as something we do together, are  entirely possible. Donate at AllTogether.co.nz/donate

Individuals

  • Seek to only purchase CHRISTmas cards that reference the nativity
  • Seek to only purchase CHRISTmas decorations that somehow reference the nativity
  • If lighting displays go on the front lawn, include the nativity

Church small groups

  • Consider year-end celebrations that reference the nativity story, and the cultural values and hope Christ brings

Christian business people

  • Include nativity reference amongst your decorations
  • Include Christmas carols with nativity lyrics on your playlists
  • If a book retailer, sell genuine CHRISTmas cards and decorations

Local congregations

  • Continue to do what you already do with both nativity imagery, and through the use of Christmas carols. It’s already amazing!

Combined churches in cities

  • Consider necessary ’profile’ involvements and who can do them, to ensure bases are covered and opportunities still given are highly valued (because that will help to preserve them)
  • Be ready to support any business people who get flack for recognising our cultural and value-heritage amongst theirCHRISTmas decorations.

United national voice

  • Support the Hope Project – CHRISTmas, would ideally include basic TV and web media (no literature) in sync with Hope Project Easter. This would connect nativity messages and imagery with large numbers – likely matching (or bettering) all of the above.
  • For December 2019 funds are insufficient.

The effectiveness of this effort is in receiving of messages from the individual, community and national channels at the same time.

Five years of persistence could see our nation respecting it’s heritage again — and coming to terms in a more balanced way with what it means means to be a Christian nation (as measured by values and heritage) while many are not personally following the Christian faith.