Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Candlemas window

This is the window in St Michael's which illustrates the Bible story we'll explore on 1st February. The prophet Simeon (he describes Jesus as the glory of God's people Israel, and his words round the picture also name Jesus as a light for all non-Jews as well) holds the forty day old Jesus. Mary kneels. The prophetess Anna stoops. A small boy holds Joseph and Mary's offering (but where is Joseph?). You might like to think of it as the first official Christian service of all age worship!

Monday, 19 January 2009

Ready for a second go

We’ve now got our plans in place for 1st February.

After refreshments when people arrive, we will again be able to join in different activities in different parts of the church. People will be able to join a group or move about between them. This time one of these will be provided by St Nicolas’ Handbell Ringing Group. Another will be available for those who want to learn something about the Bible reading for the day. Others will be preparing some music, preparing to present the Bible reading, and preparing a large sign post, all of which we’ll need for the short act of worship with which we’ll finish.

We will be keeping Candlemas - the celebration of Jesus being taken to the Temple in Jerusalem forty days after he was born. There happens also to be a picture of the story in one of the two stained glass windows in the church.

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Reacting to the presence of Jesus

Some people were able to express things about their faith in a moving way on 4th January. Some people made the crowns illustrated above indicating what sorts of gifts they would bring Jesus today. Others (in the group which was looking at the Bible reading for the day) pointed out that the efficiently cruel way Herod reacted was the way in which modern dictators react to any possible threat today (we thought about both Burma and Zimbabwe); it seemed to us that this showed how very insecure they really are. Watching how people react to finding Jesus close among them tells us a huge amount about them.

Sunday, 4 January 2009

Our first go

After so much planning and publicity, we were glad to worship this way this morning for the first time. The planning group is meeting again on Tuesday evening so that we can debrief while things are fresh in our minds, and plan the services for February and March in ways which improve on our first go. Feed back is very welcome to help us in this process.

Each of the participatory activities (art, drama, music and prayers) was presented beautifully, but it turned out that the group exploring the link with Ecuador was the one which more people wanted to join and on which more commented as they left; it helped that two of the people who came happened to know Ecuador already and could make extra contributions, and this aspect of the life of our churches clearly touched some people.