In November I attended a Charity tax and legal seminar hosted by Carters of Orangeville, Ontario. It was a day in which great information, though not exactly entertaining or gripping, was presented. It is held annually in a large church, and is often sold out at $25 per seat.
I’ve spoken to a few people who have offered seminars in their churches free of charge or for a nominal fee. The length of these meetings ranged from a few hours to the entire day. Without exception, the reported attendance has been dismal. Our own congregation offered two such seminars last Spring, the first was “Get Out of Debt,” and was presented by representatives from Scotiabank. The second was Children, Food Additives, Nutrition and Behaviour. It was presented by Shelly Linehan, ND, of Full Circle Health in Hamilton. Both were really well presented, extremely well publicised, appreciated by those who were there, and poorly attended.
Now I can understand why more than 800 people would pay to hear lawyers, accountants, and insurance agents talk about liability and tax law for charities. In today’s climate, a mistake can spell the end of a charity and perhaps the financial well-being of its directors. What I am wondering is, what interests people enough to come out on a weekend or weeknight, that is obviously connected to the Gospel. There are many implications of the Gospel in life, and it’s pretty obvious that we have far to go in our understanding of those implications; and much further in working them out.
So to all you leaders out there: what will motivate people to education beyond what they receive on Sundays? I want to continue our Lifelink™ courses—I think the concept is relevant, and I thought the topics were as well. Any advice? In the past we have had “Community Outreach Seminars” presenting talks on the Dead Sea Scrolls, the DaVinci Code, the James Ossuary, etc. As outreach, these were not stellar performers, although better attended than the Lifelink courses. It could be the time of day—the Community Outreach Seminars (dull name) were held on a weeknight, while the Lifelink courses were held on a Saturday.
Awaiting your wisdom,
Notes from personal study Summer, 2008
2 In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 And all went to be registered, each to his own town. 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. 6 And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
8 And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear.
10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.
11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord.
12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”
15 When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.”
16 And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger.
17 And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child.
18 And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.
20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.
21 And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.
A Shepherds in field 8
B Angel appears–fear 9
C Angelic Announcement 10-11
D Lying in a manger 12
E Glory to God 13-15
D’ Lying in a manger 16
C’ Shepherdic Announcement 17
B’ Shepherds appear–others wonder 18-19
A’ Shepherds return to field 20
Conclusion: “His name is Jesus” 21
The centre of the narrative is God, and His Glory.