Christmas: A story about a Middle East family seeking refuge.

Tonight we will share together time singing carols and at contemplative stations that invite us to engage in reflection around and respond to this Christmas message. We will reflect on ideas of welcome, hospitality, divinity and explore those gifts extended to us in those advent ideas of hope, joy, peace and love in our troubled times.

Prayer stations are essentially several points of “focus” that invite you to encounter God in some way. You can spend all your time at one or make your way around several, or all of them, as you like – spending as much or as little time at each of them as you like. They are not in any special order.

This space is for silent, personal reflection. Each station generally has something to read and something to do that invites you to respond to what you have read, such as lighting a candle.

Using the charming children’s story by Mem Fox called Wombat Divine, we look at the roles that we are called to play in this Story we all participate in. What role can you play?


As we receive cards from distant friends and family, and our papers and social media are filled with what might be deemed bad news, it can be hard to know how to respond – let’s take a moment to hang those words, phrases and images that feel meaningful, for ourselves, our neighbours, our country, our world. What has been weighing on you lately?


At the set table we can “meet” some of those guests who show up in Luke’s narrative of the nativity – relatives, shepherds, angels… These guests are interspersed with images from the recent Beyond Borders photo exhibition documenting unique stories of asylum seekers and refugees.  How do you respond to unexpected guests?


We come together for more carols by the nativity scene in the Chapel when there is an opportunity to make a gift in support of the work of the staff and patients at the Al-Ahli Arab Hospital, the only hospital serving the 1.4 million population of Palestinians living in the violence-devastated Gaza Strip.  Hope where there is seemingly no hope.  An image of a mother and her child in juxtaposition to the nativity.



love is born