A Festival Day (some groups call it Preparation Day) is an event held well in advance of the World Day of Prayer service to acquaint people with the service itself, to learn about the country of the women who wrote the service, and to bring together those who will be presenting the service for their community. Some groups hold it in November, while some plan it in November and hold it in early January.
Festival Day 2013
The first step is to form a committee of 4 or 5 interested persons. Decide on the date, where to hold it, how to advertise it, and what activities could be presented. The process might take three meetings before the event and one meeting following. One suggestion is that everyone on the committee take responsibility for specific tasks and then report how they are doing at each meeting. This committee will need to plan the following:
- Book the church.
- Decide on a small fee for participants to share the costs for the event.
- Prepare and send out advertising to all convenors and key persons in the area, as well as all area churches (poster,letter explaining the event and a small notice to be inserted in church bulletins). A generic flyer for the current WDP can be downloaded here.
- Contact presenters (people knowledgeable about the WDP country), contact the consulate, use the library to research the country, gather recipes and cultural artifacts for a display.
- Decide on a program plan and who will take responsibility for the various tasks. Jobs could include: Welcome(name tags, coffee, muffins, collect fee); Display of artifacts, maps, pictures of the country and WDP materials such as the colourful WDPIC poster (available from WICC); Opening worship using songs and prayers from the service; Introduction of presenters, special guests and agenda for the day; Bible study in groups (from the Leadership Guide); Presentation on the country using a video or a speaker; Lunch (people bring a bag lunch or have a potluck, perhaps provide some traditional food of the WDP country for people to sample); Cultural presentation by singers, dancers or musicians; Sharing ideas for promotion of WDP (posters, newspaper ads, TV spots, etc.); Tips on using the youth and children’s service; Follow up and evaluation of Festival Day and sharing of ideas for next year.
- Closing: Use a Bible study, prayer, song or drama. Hand out WDP materials to the area convenors.
Consider planning a regional Festival/Preparation Day this year. The ideas for such an event are endless. Every group is encouraged to use imagination and creativity, and to take advantage of the expertise available in their area. Those who have held this event report it to be fun, informative and inspirational. It has brought people together, introduced them to lots of new ideas and understanding, and sent the participants away with enthusiasm for presenting their own WDP service in a special way.
If your women’s group is part of a regional “presbyterial” or other church body, you might ask them to sponsor such an event.
Thanks to Sonya Chater, Keith Cahter, Lynn Smart, Marilyn Fortin, Eleanor Arless and Kofo Dedeke for the success of these events and for sharing the photos.