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i've really been enjoying the songs by CityAlight lately.  Ancient of Days is a beautiful one, and one we just sang in church last Sunday:  Yet not I but Christ In Me - lyrics so rich, and music that's easy and hymn-like.   Makes it more fun to introduce new music to a congregation that frets because we don't sing enough hymns!  ;-).   But like Mavis, lots of favourites, both Getty / new hymn styles, and others from Hillsong/Bethel/Elevation, though the latter with more discernment.  (more discernment for possible use in church than personal listening, because some songs that I just enjoy listening to wouldn't be so singable in my church setting.).  Goodness of God is surely one of my favs in this genre.   

I'm preaching an advent series called:   The journeys of Christmas.

I saw the title or a phrase somewhere and began to think about all the travelling that took place that very first Christmas:  by Joe and Mary, by the shepherds, by the Magi, by Joe and Mary and Jesus again as they fled to Egypt.  Then of course Christmas celebrates the greatest journey of all:  the incarnation - from the throne to the womb.   Fun to think about and work out all those details, and see it all come alive.   Of course, all these journeys have some parallels in that journey we call life.   unwelcomed interruptions, looking for hope and good news, seeking the true king, Jesus as the refugee who also retraced the exodus, coming out of egypt.   lots of good stuff!

Hey all...

it was good to read the variety of responses here.   Thank you for them (2.5 years ago!)

The reason for my interest in this post is that I had a call today from the education team chair as the gems and cadets coordinators want to have a meeting to discuss the future of the gems and cadets programs.   Sounds ominous because I know the number of interested attenders have dropped, as well as those who are willing to serve as counselors.   So many factors are possible:  COVID, competition from other churches of which there are many in our smaller community, declining church membership, especially with younger families, and more.   Is the writing on the wall?   Hard to say.  But I do know that every year becomes more and more of a challenge for our smaller churches to have a viable and successful program.   To not have gems or cadets seems a sad prospect.  But to not have ANYTHING would be worse yet.   

Since this was posted 2.5 years ago, PRE-COVID, has anything changed for anyone?   Have any of you adapted their programs to be more inclusive of each other groups members?   Did you find something that worked well, or didn't work so well in your attempts to adjust?   I know that we'll have a meeting before long to discuss the state of things and to look at options.   Just starting to fish for information, ideas, and options so I can enter the meeting, when it happens, with some wisdom and knowledge.  Thanks in advance!

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