Carols on the Oval:
Cheers made the following report to our auspice, SU Neighborhood Outreach. (It was also part of a Cheers note we sent to all participants.)
Just a little report for the record re: “Carols on the Oval, a Cheers, SUNO event.”
One thing I really loved about this Carols was the no-budget nature of it.
It made it a truly community event rather than a corporate or commercial interest.
Too much stuff smacks of consumerism, but this one didn’t. It was a breath of fresh air.
1. How the event unfolded.
Monday Nov 24 – BG Residents Assoc asks what’s happening for Christmas. I offer to find out about Carols, since no-one has heard.
Tuesday Nov 25 – Craig Lydon & Beaumaris Baptist have taken a recent interest in us because of the way we’re going about community development. So Craig mentioned that they were doing their own Carols on Christmas eve, & offered their muso’s & set up, as a kind of practice run for themselves. I said thanks, but BG has its own Carols with Wanneroo Anglican.
Wed 26 – I phone Wanneroo Anglican who tell me they can’t do it this year.
– Then I phone Craig and ask him to “hold that thought.”
Over the next few days I make contact with BGRA, get approval to go with Beaumaris, and try to work out how to pull it together. No-one at Wanneroo can help with logistics, because it was done by a company employed by Landstart, the developers who have now pulled out of Carols, which is why Wanneroo Anglican can’t do it…
Mon 1 Dec – Cheers decides we can do it. We pray.
* Carolee makes up 2 big calico signs for roadside and deli.
* Sally wrote up the Carols song sheets,
* Karoline photocopied & stapled them at Diane Guise’s office (MP) for free.
* Local neighbors get together to help fold them. Ta Holly & Clare, Ros & Terry, Linda, Karoline, Sal & Geoff.
* Gina (who I’ve still not met) who delivers junk mail, delivered them to the 500 homes in BG on the Wednesday before the Carols. This doubled as advertising.
* The BG Residents Association newsletter came out that week as well, so I made sure we had a note in there as well. Ta Chris.
* City of Wanneroo waives fees for the oval and so on. Ta Lita & Rhonda.
* BGRes Assoc forwards $200 to help Cheers with the $500 bond. Ta Bronwyn.
* SUNO auspices the event in terms of Insurance etc., which no-one else in BG would/could do. Carols would not have happened if not for SUNO behind Cheers. Ta Kent.
* LDAG, Local Drug Action Group, provides a free sausage sizzle, thanks to the link with Belinda via her daughter folding songsheets. Ta Belinda & other LDAGs.
* Craig arranges sound & lights (Ta Kosmic and Quinns Baps), music, singers, and set-up people. Ta to all of those people!
* Sandy & Paul are the first aid people, just in case, and are furnished with all relevant numbers and the SU Emergency Response info. (We didnt need it tho.)
* Geoff organized and MC’d.
* Local people read the Bible passages. Ta, Zac and Corey (grade 4), Phil (20’s), Jim (60’s), Jess (teen).
* I spoke a bit about Gratitude for local BG 2003 blessings, & Christmas. And prayed thanks on behalf of BG.
* About 250 people turned up and picnic-ed on the oval. And sang. And got together.
* Most brought their songsheets from home, but we had some teens hand out spares. Ta Jordan & Amy.
* Ta to the police and Rangers who did special patrols of the suburb that evening too.
That’s a lot of people with direct involvement in making it happen.
Thanks to everyone who did their bit.
Everyone’s contribution was so important, that, had they failed, the night would have not been the success that it was. But nobody failed us! It was great! So BIG THANKS. WELL DONE.
(Wanna do it again next year?)
2. Things we can do better next time?
Only little things:
– make sure the toilet lights are on.
– have some more bins around the crowd. – get the MC and song-leader a bit more iin sync.
– let the schooll know early enough so they can be involved.
– security to haandle teens scuffles out the back.
– Lots of local people involved. Shared ownership. Good will. (List in section 1.)
– Picnic atmosphere. Relaxed, friendly, community together.
– Simplicity. Clear, Chhrist-focussed Christmas. Non-commercial.
– No / low cost. We can do it again – beccause it only depends on desire, not dollars.
– Empowering. If we can do this without ddollars, what else might we be able to do together!
– Cheers publicly described. &qquot;A movement turning locals into friends… anyone can be a participant by being a part.” (I didn’t plan to, but I could feel the pressure to answer the question. Probably just as well. People now know that Cheers is a good thing to be part of.)
So that’s it from my point of view.
So the ACTION part is going well.
REFLECTION: It would be cruisy to get the ‘Christian’ guys together for a peer reflection meeting. Cruisey – but insular. So instead, a couple of the guys from my old street and I have made a verbal pact to go together, twice a week, to the gym for an hour, then chat over coffee for an hour. And the agreement is that we dont just keep the convo shallow, but become the kind of mates you can turn to in a pinch. We reflect on how different areas of life are going. It’s early get-to-know stages yet, but so far so great! It’s already just good for us (except maybe for Paul’s hurling incident ;-).)
Another peer group is off the ground around craft, and another in in the wind.
CELEBRATION is the all-age community development meeting we’ve been piloting last year.
It’s still got to evolve a bit, but we had 24+ at the pilots – mostly kids. So we moved to the BG Community Hall, and have a regular fortnightly booking; 4-630pm on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of the month – hence the name “Cheers 24”.
At this meeting we aim to Celebrate anything good that’s happened as a community. Hear the good & bad; celebrate & commiserate accordingly; pray; hear good, hope-giving words (from God & each other); and eat together. Its starts 8th Feb. We’re using some Faith Incubators’ material as an all-age resource. Theme 1: “Common grounds for our community.”
So there you have it. What a great first year we had! Looking forward to year 2.