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, CHRISTmas Cards and CHRISTmas decorations for the home.

Shockingly, churches in our nation’s cities and towns are now even being denied invitation to have  involvement in Community CHRISTmas Carol and other gatherings, or any welcome for involvement in CHRISTmas parades.

While the removal of these cultural icons is a disrespect to our cultural forefathers, heritage and values, it remains that we are not powerless. We can maintain a basic respectful Christian presence – and that is what Hope Project CHRISTmas is about!

But aren’t we multi-religious?

We see no conflict between viewing New Zealand as a Christian nation (its historic and cultural identity – further underscored by our identity in Te Tiriti o Waitangi as a part of the British Empire, which is constitutionally Christian) while also as a multi-religious nation (through the giving of grace to all people). A Christian naturally becomes multi-religious in practice because of the freedom of the will that Christianity affirms and empowers. (Faith cannot be coerced). This process of thinking is reflected in the ease with which ‘religious freedom’ was added to Te Tiriti or Waitangi during the korero in 1840. These Christian foundations protect freedom of religions and speech – while is becoming an increasingly relevant matter in our times.

This dynamic is no different to the way we are bicultural in identity as a nation (constitutionally), while being multicultural in practice – because we extend common grace to all people.

  • Fundraising for both Hope Project Easter, and Hope Project CHRISTmas will take place in the lead up to Easter 2019.

  • National media profile for CHRISTmas will only come about if sufficient is raised in that period to do both (because none of us want two fundraising efforts annually).

  • Working all together this is 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
  • If a book retailer, sell genuine CHRISTmas cards and decorations

Local congregations

  • Continue to do what you already do. 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, which will include TV and web media only (no literature), and could connect messages with as many as the above combined.

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.