The Church of Scotland has created an online Advent calendar with daily videos from the CofS ministries team to bring the true spirit of Christmas to life. One day will even feature St. Columba’s congregation in Budapest, a dual-affiliated church with the RCH.
The Church of Scotland (CofS), following in their success from last year, has created an online Advent calendar that explores the true meaning of Christmas from a variety of viewpoints. Videos have been created by local congregations in Scotland as well as in the CofS’s wider context – including St. Columba’s Scottish Mission in Budapest. Each film is locally created and they are then posted daily on the CofS’s Advent website, which can be visited here.
Half of this year’s inspiring daily massages were created by women, an intentional move by the church to put a focus on gender equality. Last year’s campaign included a set of 24 videos that nearly 6,000 people signed up via email to receive. The films were viewed more than 180,000 times and were shared widely via social media. The campaign for this year is even wider in scope and indications suggest that it will be even more popular than last year.
Each community of faith can explore their chosen topic in the way that best fits them. Due to this, the tone of each video varies slightly as CofS communities from all over tackle intense subject matter in a compelling and honest way. St. Columba’s congregation in Budapest created their video around the theme of “Life.” A vibrant international congregation, the Scottish Mission sought to display their diversity and liveliness through a practical and telling example – one of their monthly community meals.
2016 was the 175th anniversary of the Scottish Mission in Budapest. In celebration of this, the RCH spotlighted the history, mission, and work of the congregation through a series of timely interviews, articles, and more throughout the year. You can view all of them here.
Filming was done one Sunday following the worship service as members from around the world milled around and chatted before eventually settling in to share a lunch together. The short film showcases not only the variety of languages and cultural backgrounds that are present in the congregation, but also how this diversity improves the quality of life for the people there. Smiles filled the room as a Syrian college student and an American volunteer made their way from table to table, filming the large group of people gathered together in fellowship for the Advent video.
The short film ends with a wide shot of the community lunch as the meal is blessed and everyone gives thanks – laughter fills the room as people excitedly dig in. In the video, the food at the lunch brings sustaining life to individuals just as the people who are there breathe fresh life into the congregation itself.
Many other things are happening at St. Columba’s during the Christmas season, including a Staccato Choir Concert on Wednesday December 14, an Ecumenical Service of Nine Lessons and Carols on Friday December 16, a Christmas Eve Service on Saturday December 24, and a multigenerational service with Communion and a pot-luck feast on Sunday December 25. For more details, you can visit the congregation’s calendar of events on their website here.
Article by Kearstin Bailey