15 December 2007 ~ 1 Comment

Caroling Confessional



I know.  I’m way behind on Worship Confessionals.  I’ll try and get one up tomorrow while I’m not working.  But in the meantime, how about a Caroling Confessional?

Tuesday night was "Caroling on the Wharf," basically the big Christmas event for our church this year.  We’ve done it for several years, picking it up a few years after the city lost funding for it.  In the past, it’s not something the church has really emphasized from what I understand.  This year, we decided we would take this opportunity to reach out to our community.  How often do you have the city inviting you to be in a public place and sing songs about Jesus and hang out with the community, not to mention with other businesses jumping in to help out?

So we sent out mailers and tried to get the word out.  This year we also added an extra hour with cookie decorating, crafts for kids, and free pics with Santa to view at our website.  (Nice little trick I learned from Trotter to drive people to the new site.)  The idea also was that everyone who comes gets a flyer with an invite to Christmas Eve and the first series of 2008.

Random Facts

  • We sang about 26 Christmas Carols which took about an hour.
  • Unfortunately, my drummer, who was set to play percussion for the night had to bail last minute.  The positive side was we had someone fill in last minute and he brought his whole trap set.  Thanks Justin!
  • It was freezing by the time we were done.  Almost literally.  It was forecasted to be 32 degrees, someone said it was 36.
  • I couldn’t feel my hands as I played my guitar toward the end of the night.
  • My legs and body were cramping up from the cold.  That was the not fun part.


  • Turnout.  We guestimated about 200-250 people turned out for the night.  At least double if not triple the umber from last year according to some who were there in the past.
  • Cookie decorating.  Big hit!  We burned through all 200 cookies by 6:30 (event was 6-8).  Again great turnout.
  • Along with the great turnout, Rachel pointed out that there were LOTS of people who she didn’t recognize from our church.  Another big win.  This event wasn’t to serve our church family.  It was for our church family to serve our community.
  • Russ made a great Santa!  And lots of people were really excited about pictures.
  • Whitney and Caitlin were the most amazing elves EVER!!
  • The screen.  This year we did away with the photocopied books and set up a screen with the lyrics.  We were supposed to have 2, but had some technical difficulties.  I think it worked better with 1 anyway.


  • Signage.  We didn’t really have any.  Would have been nice to have some identification and directional signage as well as…
  • A schedule.  Some people thought we’d be singing the whole time from 6-8.  They still may have been a bit disappointed, but some signage near the stage with the evening schedule would have helped some.
  • More greeters.  We didn’t really get greeters well organized beforehand, thus I don’t think we got nearly as many flyers out as I would have liked.  Unfortunately I didn’t organize that part so well.
  • More leaders.  I’m still kinda in the phase of identifying some great leaders that can really own areas of ministry and events.  Having more leaders in place next year and equipping them well beforehand will take a lot of stress off of me the night of.
  • I think we might want to try renting some gas heaters next year to see how that works out.  Did I mention it was cold?
  • Cookies.  We’ll be making at least double the amount next year so we don’t run out in 30 minutes.
  • Some more decor would be nice to add next year.
  • A little more background for Santa pics also.  It’s nice having the wharf vibe, but a little more Christmas scenery might enhance the pics.


  • Marc for running sound.
  • Santa and elves!
  • Steve for running lyrics.
  • Jane and Julie for running with the cookies.
  • The band.
  • Everyone else who helped (there were plenty, so I better stop there at risk of leaving someone out!)
  • Marini’s for donating the brownies.
  • Carniglia’s for helping with the cider and hot chocolate.
  • Santa Cruz Parks and Rec for helping allow us to facilitate the event.
  • Kenny and Legend Theatrical for helping us out with the technical setup and issues.

Long post, but maybe it will help someone out there with an idea or two, and if nothing else, it will be good for me to look back on during planning next year!  I tend to focus my energy at times on what could have been better rather than stepping back and celebrating.  Overall, it was an awesome event and we all had a great time!  now time to get ready for a rather chill family style Christmas Eve service and then it’s off into 2008!!

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