Ideas for Groups at Easter

Unlike Christmas, Easter doesn’t always seem such an obvious time to be holding a celebration at work; nonetheless, several workplace groups have used this as an opportunity to share Jesus in creative ways.

Before staring any activities for your group remember that it is important to keep your managers and HR aware of what you are doing.

Management may be able to advise you on best practice for different circumstances. In many cases your group’s activities and the means by which you advertise them will require permission. Make sure that you discuss what you want to do first, not after the event!

Please contact us to let us know your ideas. We’d love to pray for you.

StHelens workers lunchtime
Welcome Meetings

Periodically have open meetings where the format and content is designed for people who are new to the group, bearing in mind that some will be Christians who have been following Jesus for a long time, and others may be non-believers who are just enquiring about the faith. It is important that the group is inclusive, encouraging people from across the range of traditions and with differing experiences of the faith (or none) to become involved.

A welcome meeting might contain a talk and discussion on what the group does; perhaps play a video which captures the group’s aims and ethos. Include refreshments – if the meeting is at lunchtime, make it clear that people can bring and eat packed lunches. Make time to talk to people, find out what they are looking for, and how the group can help them. Maintain contact with those who come along. Make sure the meeting is well advertised in advance, and of course pray that God will bring along many new people to the meeting.

Derby CWG Leader
Buddy System for New Starters

There’s a great opportunity to come alongside and welcome newcomers to the workplace who make contact with the group and start coming along at an early stage. Joining a new organisation can be a daunting and lonely experience, so it can be helpful for one or two people in the group to specifically look out for the new starter for a month or so. This can be really beneficial for the newcomer, and an excellent opportunity to make them feel at home in the group at an early stage. This approach may also sit well with HR as an extension of their induction strategy.

Easter Christianity Awareness
Christianity Awareness Week

A Christianity Awareness Week is a great opportunity to be a resource for your organisation by giving all staff the opportunity to learn more about the Christian faith. It is also a great way to promote your Christian Workplace Group in a positive way in your organisation.

It is a week consisting of various lunchtime events, activities and displays which provide information on the Christian faith and are open to all in the organisation.

Here are some general points to consider when putting on a Christianity Awareness Week:
Preparation: within your group, think about what it is you want to achieve, and pray about it!
Contact Senior Management to discuss the practicalities: where could you hold the event (and surrounding events, such as talks, workshops, etc..), when’s the most convenient time (lunchtimes?), what is it you are going to promote, how (stands, art exhibition, Bible exhibition, etc..?)
Make sure you delegate responsibilities around the group so one person doesn’t get lumbered with all the work!
Think creatively about promotion (posters, intranet, e-mail, if allowed, postcards in restrooms, etc..)
Consider offering food (always a good attraction)
Make sure you get support from local churches and pastors, if only for prayer, but maybe encouraging them (where practically possible) to visit and be involved.
After the event, contact us to let us know how you got on, and to encourage other workplace groups to do the same!

Easter Education Display Stand
Easter Education Stand

The Tower Hamlets Christian Prayer Group marked Easter by having a stand in the reception area of the council building, Mulberry Place, in the week leading up to Easter. The stand was situated right by the turnstiles where everyone enters the building and so was very visible!

On the stand, which was not manned continuously, were Easter eggs for people to take away and a range of free resources explaining Easter.

The pictures show some of the group members around the stand, and examples of some of the materials available for people to take away. Contact sheets were available, for people to express interest and receive information about the group. There was also a box for prayer requests, which was filled by the end of most days.

Easter Display in Foyer

Sefton Council Easter resurrection display 1
Raising the profile of the Christian faith

“I think you should do something to celebrate one of your major festivals – like Christmas or Easter”. This was the advice of our Personnel Manager last July at one of our occasional meetings to discuss the activities of the Council Christian group.

Traditionally we have set out bowls of Easter eggs in the foyers of the main Council buildings as a gift from the Christian Group.

Traditionally we have set out bowls of Easter eggs in the foyers of the main Council buildings as a gift from the Christian Group.

We were reviewing our activities with the Personnel Manager and discussing how the group might further raise the profile of the Christian faith in the Council.

Organisations from time to time display their wares in the foyer of our main building. I indicated I did not think that staffing a table in the reception area with Christian literature would be an effective way of reaching out to others. However, the Personnel Manager clearly felt that there was potential to organise something in the foyer to raise awareness of our activities!

With this encouragement, the Group turned to thinking about how to create an attractive display which would engage our colleagues. We enlisted the support of Annie Spiers, creative director of local Christian arts company, ‘In Another Place’.

Changing display

We came up with a daily changing display during Easter week. Each day had a theme with a verse of Scripture or a paraphrase of what the day signified as the Easter story unfolded. Starting with the Last Supper, the display included Jesus’ suffering and trial leading to his crucifixion and resurrection.

We were able to advertise our initiative on the intranet and on yammer (organisation version of facebook).

When the theme was Jesus’ suffering , we invited colleagues to write a prayer on a ‘leaf’ and stick it to a branch. One of the prayers read “Let the 96 rest in peace. You’ll never walk alone”. That day coincided with the 30th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster when there was a minute’s silence in our office.

When invited to write a thought or prayer, one of my newer colleagues asked: “Are you religious?”, and told me how she always attended Derry cathedral when she returned to Ireland.

Sefton Council Easter resurrection display 2
Unfair trail

To mark Jesus’ unfair trail we displayed a world map behind a set of bars, and invited people to pause or say a prayer about an area of injustice, and switch on a (battery-operated!) tea light. This was another low key way in which people could enter into the story of Easter and relate it to an aspect of their own lives or experience.

Practicalities

The Personnel manager was keen to avoid unnecessary opposition to our display. He suggested we made it clear that it was promoted by the Christian Group incase anyone thought the initiative was organised by the Council.

We also sought permission from the Council’s Facilities Manager. In view of the type of people who visit our building (some angry and frustrated), she warned us not to include anything in the display which could be used as a projectile. She thought small Easter eggs would be OK!

Reflections

Our Easter display illustrates the value of being a formally recognised Workplace Group and the opportunity to discuss our activities with a member of the Council’s Management Team.

It is fantastic to have a Personnel Manager who is so supportive of our activities. He had given us permission to organise an event so it felt important to act on that.

God gave us the creative help we needed. The displays were simple but eye-catching. We wanted to highlight the significance of Easter in a way which would stimulate people’s interest. When asked, people generally responded to the request to write a prayer or switch on a candle.

This was a real fillip to the faith of our group. What next? We are already planning an open meeting when our members talk about what their faith means day to day. We are also thinking about how best to arrange for people to make requests for prayer.

And advice to other groups? If God puts something on your heart, go for it. He will provide the means to make it happen!

If you would like further details of the Sefton Council Easter display, we would love to share this with you.

Steve.Matthews@transformworkuk.org

Share the Miracle

Simply put, ShareTheMiracle believes we are all ‘designed for kindness’ and that these moments of kindness can build and ultimately transform communities. Easter is arguably the most important time in the Church calendar, remembering what many consider to be the greatest act of kindness. ShareTheMiracle is an easy and effective way to connect with those in your workplace.

For several Christian Work Groups, ShareTheMiracle has been used on the front line. Useful within your ‘whole life’, ShareTheMiracle has provided an opportunity for people to reach out throughout the day – on the train, by the coffee machine, at the workplace or in the pub after work. Whether you’re a trainee or a chief executive, ShareTheMiracle has enabled people to start a conversation through an act of kindness and extend an invitation to build their community. Some groups have used it to invite colleagues round for a coffee, just to get to know them; others have invited people to an Easter service run in the workplace.

Some groups have also used ShareTheMiracle to aid social action. Loneliness for example is a growing challenge for many, including the elderly. Why not invite people to join your group in reaching out to the elderly in your area and invite the elderly person to listen to a short musical performable, a story, play a game or simply enjoy a cup of tea. This type of activity has proven to be very impactful.

The flexibility and simplicity of ShareTheMiracle and its all-inclusive nature has meant its something that everyone of all ages and abilities can engage in. Last year, groups ran it up and down the country in Great Ormond Street Hospital, through Westminster council, schools, churches, to the homeless, elderly, victims of human trafficking and more. Its been so exciting to see it grow from engaging 100 people during Easter 2013 to engaging over 15,000 people across the UK last Easter.

Many have found ShareTheMiracle to be a fun, all-inclusive and effective tool to reach out, build relationships and form stronger communities at Easter and we’d love it if you’d like to join in too!

Open tomb
Easter Apologetics

The Barclays Christian Forum organised an Easter Event entitled ‘Jesus RISES’. The RISES concept having biblical meaning of Jesus re the resurrection and also mirrors the values at Barclays.

The thought provoking talk was led by Simon Edwards, a member of the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics who provided some useful insight and a reminder to many of us about the real meaning of the resurrection of Jesus Christ and how it impacts the world today and what it means to us all. This was an engaging event where we were invited to think about the different propositions in history from those who have argued that the resurrection cannot be true for various reasons. At the same time we were introduced to the arguments which go against the resurrection we were able to understand that how the arguments are flawed and therefore have no basis.

The event included a Q&A session whereby attendees were able to express their understanding and raise some interesting questions around the topic.

Related Articles
The death and resurrection of Jesus is the big story line of the Bible. t’s no surprise, then, that a majority of Christians celebrate it every year on Easter Sunday.
President Richard Waller of Christians in Library and Information Services, shares his resolute thoughts on Easter and the Coronavirus
Elizabeth recently attended the Christians in Government Easter service in Westminster. John Kirkby of CAP brought reflections and told how God has used CAP to help many
A fine example of all faiths coming together to the benefit of the company occurred at Rolls Royce in Derby, where staff gather to remember the recent atrocities in Sri Lanka
The Sefton Council Christian Workplace Group put on a varied Easter display for staff at the Council - as suggested by their Personnel Manager!
The Christian Staff Network joined with the Black Professionals Network of Barclays in Canary Wharf to arrange an event: 'Easter - The Passion'. Key leaders spoke of their faith
Sefton Council CWG looks outwards and holds an Alpha course together with nearby groups and provides Easter eggs for council employees
What are your top ideas for Christian Workplace Groups this Easter?
And the winner recieves a The Real Easter Egg from the meaningful chocolate company?
A Christian Workplace Group offers an example of supporting a local charity through the proceeds of an Easter service
A report on the Barclays Christian Forum Easter event
Meryl explains the periods of prayer and fasting that the PwC Christian Network as arranged through Advent and Lent