We are introducing an entirely new event and tradition! Well, actually it is an old tradition in many ways and we at Houseofthebook.org are renewing it. Cultures from many lands and throughout the years have gathered for Celebrations and Feasts. Possibly the first event like this was when the family of Adam and Eve gathered to share the story of Creation. The people dispersed geographically and eventually their stories were written down by inspired men in the form of scriptures. After many hundreds of years, their stories were gathered and were now in the form of Fairy Tales, Myths, Sagas, etc. There are even symbols of these stories in Shakespeare.
Is it any wonder that cultures around the world all have similarities in their festivals? Dancing, singing, beautiful clothing, family, each telling their stories; of the hunt or their connection with the Creator. Do these cultural celebrations contain remnants of an original celebration?
Gathering family for Celebrations is rather normal. We do it weekly with our story of worshipping Christ through remembering the Words and song, but, do we combine all these elements together into one whole? Are we experiencing it ourselves or just watching it take place?
I propose we begin Celebrating! Celebrating Our Story. Celebrating Song. Celebrating joyful Movement. Singing, Dance and Storytelling combined with Family. One reason why we sing: to remember our stories. One reason we dance - to remember Joy.
There is another benefit - a natural result of this joyful movement is the burdens we carry are more easily released to Christ. Observe it and see if you feel better after you move.
Join us NEXT MARCH 2015 in a Christ-centered Family Celebration!
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We are Celebrating Our Story. Our common story and our specific stories. As civilizations rose and fell, the remnants of the culture they left behind were in the form of stories & art. The Power of Story is real. Stories preserve community and family culture. They also can renew an individual's connection with themselves and their importance in this world. Stories are what keep us connected together in our churches, families & communities. And, no matter what communities we come from, we all share the story of Creation & the Creator.
We are Celebrating Song. Did you know that a culture of singing is what freed the entire nation of Estonia? After Stalin took over the Baltic States in 1939/1940, the people lost their freedom to celebrate their identity. After 50 years, they began gathering to sing their cultural songs. This gave them more and more courage to stand against their oppressors and grew to a point where they stood, hand-in-hand, in 1991, against the tanks, singing. The world saw this on the news and it was the first time we understood what had been happening those 50 years after WWII. Singing is powerful!! And through a simple song, we can learn a powerful message. We often sing hymns and those hymns encourage and uplift us. For this Celebration, we, the audience, will be singing a few beautiful folk songs.
We are Celebrating Joyful Movement. Did you ever notice that each culture around the world includes dance as a part of their festivals? Have you ever wondered why? Did you know movement is a strong need of the body and even helps us release negative emotions to Christ? Think about it. Running is great to do when we have to let-off steam. Walking may help us think. Yoga and breathing helps us to calm the chatter in our minds. There are many studies and research showing the benefits of movement. Now, did you also know the Jewish culture enjoys a dance at their wedding feasts? This tradition goes back anciently, and I believe has something to do with the word feast, which means, to gather in a circle and dance. Interesting huh?
Did you know America's cultural dancing is patterned after these circle dances? They are called Contra Dancing. What is Contra Dancing? Contra Dancing is when a "caller" give us the directions & instructions of where to move on the floor. The shapes of the movements are usually in circles. Similar to "Square" Dancing, but there are the set patterns are much easier so everyone can join in without knowing anything! Our Caller will give instructions. Yeah!
I was able to enjoy Contra Dancing for the first time this past summer and I realized it has been around in America's history since the beginning. Another name is New England Dancing and it is similar to the Jane Austin movies dancing style. I could see how it is easy to learn for most ages and encourages laughter and delight! AND, that bringing these environments together to enjoy movement with the entire family will keep us healthy, connected with our Creator and joyful. And it's Fun!!
Check out this Doug Plummer's photographic journey of joy unconfined through Contra dancing to see the style of dance.
We will also have hoop dancing on the lawn, painting, fabric and paper activities for additional things to do.
Only $5 until Thursday and $10 at the event. REGISTER HERE!!!
By the way, this is all a part of the Hebrew Way.