2012 London Olympics
Mission opportunities and ideas for churches to celebrate the 2012 games
The 2012 Olymics and Paralympics (27 Jul to 8 Aug, Paralympics 29 Aug to 9 Sept) are an opportunity for the church to engage with the wider community. The Parish Development Team has drawn together a range of ideas and contacts to help churches in their mission and outreach this summer. Here you will find a wealth of ideas and resources.
- Around 9.2 million tickets will be made available for people to attend the Olympics and Paraylmpics with many millions more watching it on television or the Internet.
- One third of the population plays with a sport club and even more watch or follow a team.
Given the Games will have a national impact, every parish in every diocese has the chance to engage with this unique event, through the shared values of faith and sport. Is your church doing everything it can to engage with this community?
More Than Gold
An ecumenical project set up to help churches make the most of the 2012 Games. On the web site, you will be able to access the wide range of resources that are in the pipeline which will include -
- Events – with an interactive map to show what is happening where you are regarding preparation, prayer and training
- Free downloads – of DVDs, posters, publicity, prayer fuel and more to help churches get the message and get involved
- Outreach resources and merchandise to buy – everything from sports Gospels to baseball caps
To access the resources and find out when everything becomes available, sign up for the free eNewsletter at http://www.morethangold.org.uk/
This is a perfect time as a church to thank God for sport, the clubs, and all that sport teaches and adds to the lives of those who participate.
Thanksgiving for Sport service (Chelmsford Diocese)
Some ideas for how your church can get involved …
Host a Themed Holiday Club
Host a Great Olympics Theme Party
Adopt a Country - Why not adopt a competing country, and the worship traditions from that country, e.g. hymns, prayers, way of worship which could be incorporated into a range of services.
Bunting - Encourage all schools and Sunday schools to participate in making bunting.
Community Festival - Plan and run family fun event which could be linked with your Local authority and other churches.
Flower Festival - Olympic/Bible theme which could be part of another event or stand on its own.
Get away from the Games - Stage a selection of “get away from the games‟ activities for those who are /or will become Olympic-phobes.
Men’s Breakfast Club - The men’s breakfast club could invite a sporting person to talk to them. Information from Christians in Sport
Service Time Changes - Adjust service times during the Games to take account of the event schedule.
Songs of Praise - Plan for a Songs of Praise Service to coincide with the Closing Ceremony. The Songs of Praise Service could precede the broadcast of the Closing Ceremony, and the opportunity could be created for people to stay on to watch the Ceremony on a big screen.
Sponsored run – Hold a sports challenge followed by a BBQ, etc.
Sports Chaplaincy - Offer to become a chaplain to one or more of your local sports clubs. Advice on chaplaincy from SCORE at www.servingsport.co.uk or from Christians in Sport www.christiansinsport.org.uk/
Treasure Hunt - This could be a family event where there is a quest that families could go on around a town or village and the clues would link to the Bible and the Olympics.
Use the church buildings - Use the churches/church halls to be the place to go to watch the Games on TV as a group, which isn’t the pub or sports club. Invite friends and neighbours - with drinks and refreshments provided.
A prayer in preparation for the 2012 Games
The Church of England have commissioned a special prayer for the 2012 Olympics,
Giver of joy and source of all strength,
we pray for those who prepare for the London Olympic and Paralympic games.
For the competitors training for the Games and their loved ones,
For the many thousands who will support them,
And for the Churches and others who are organising special events and who will welcome many people from many nations.
In a world where many are rejected and abused,
we pray for a spirit of tolerance and acceptance, of humility and respect
and for the health and safety of all.
May we at the last be led towards the love of Christ who is more than gold, today and forever. Amen