A LOW-TECH EASTER EXPERIENCE
Challenging times call for creative solutions. With global limits on gatherings of all sizes and many regions in full lockdown, normal Easter celebrations have become all but impossible. Graves to Gardens was born in response to the cancellation of our own local Easter gatherings here in New Zealand and we’re excited to offer this as a free gift to anyone who would like to journey with us into new territory.
While we absolutely love all of the inspiring livestreams happening out there we wanted to create an offline, low-tech, all-ages project, designed to help households celebrate Easter together...in person. Our greatest desire through this is that God would inspire and reawaken the Spirit of Hope within each of us as we lean into Him during this challenging season. Join with us and many others around the planet as we dive into the story of Christ's death, burial and resurrection and celebrate the ever-expanding Kingdom of God within and around us.
Graves to Gardens is a three day journey—a mostly-analogue, kinesthetic experience beginning Friday evening and extending through Sunday morning. The project explores a wide array of spiritual practices and touches on the topics of hope, disappointment, rest, non-anxious presence, open-handed faith and kingdom purpose. While you could spend your Easter weekend scrolling through your feed or watching Netflix, why not try something different? (What do you have to lose?) At the very least you’ll make a memory. Let’s do this!
Start by downloading the handy “Graves to Gardens: Get Started” guide, pull your crew together and dive in.
GOOD FRIDAY | DUSK
FOCUS: Grief | Disappointment
PRACTICE: LIGHTS OUT (Candlelight Reading)
SUMMARY: This practice is designed to explore Jesus’ crucifixion, death, and burial in the context of your home at nightfall. The emphasis is on placing our best-laid plans, disappointments and unfulfilled hopes in the grave with Jesus trusting that, like a seed, these laid-down plans will sprout into fruitful trees... During this practice we will explore the spiritual disciplines of silence, self-examination and simplicity.
Download the Day 1 practice below for the print version. Mobile-friendly version coming shortly.
SATURDAY | FULL DAY
FOCUS: Sabbath | Rest | Fasting
PRACTICE: TECH BLACKOUT
SUMMARY: Day 2 is spent digging into the disciplines of fasting and sabbath rest, and exploring the art of being a “non-anxious presence” in the transitional seasons of our lives. This practice will explore the ideas of liminality (between places) and wilderness (the untamed places) that we all experience when life takes an unexpected turn. Undertake a full-day technology and internet fast, while exploring sabbath rest through a number of suggested practices such as: large-portion scripture reading, creative works, presence focus, pilgrimage, and book-sharing.
You can download a print-friendly version of the Day 2 practice guide below. A mobile-friendly version is forth-coming.
EASTER SUNDAY | MORNING
FOCUS: Nature-Immersion | Celebration
PRACTICE 1: GARDEN SUNRISE
PRACTICE 2: BREAKFAST PARTY
SUMMARY: Easter Sunday provides the final steps in the Graves to Gardens journey. We’ll try on the disciplines of celebration and “nature immersion” (the discipline of experiencing God through nature) which will help us explore our part in the ever-expanding kingdom of God among us. There are two practices, the first involves getting up before the dawn to watch the sun saturate the world with light. The second, and probably the highlight of the weekend, is a breakfast feast focused on celebrating the resurrection of Jesus and the inauguration of a new way of being human.
Download the print and iPad friendly version of the Day 3 journey guide below or come back soon for the mobile friendly version.
A virtual-to-actual-to-virtual project, Graves to Gardens is designed to be experienced in real life (actual space) and shared through social media (virtual space). Each household/cluster can share images and stories from their experiences using #gravestogardens on Instagram and on the Graves To Gardens Facebook page.
Graves to Gardens was created by the team at Prayer Collective in Christchurch, New Zealand