Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Catching up

Peter Mullins has been without internet access for three weeks so hasn't been able to update this site.

On 5th December forty people gathered in St Michael's despite the snow, and shared in a service which included everyone making his or her own Christingle; we explored Isaiah's vision of the lamb and the lion lying down together and prayed 'nearer and nearer draws the time, the time that shall surely be, when the earth shall be filled with the glory of God as the waters cobver the sea'.

On 2nd January we will not hold a First Sunday Thing as we are not sure who'll be up and about that day, but there will be a Family Communion at 10.30 in St Michael's.

On 6th February normal services will be resumed with a said Communion at 9.30 and the first First Sunday Thing of 2011 at 10.30 in St Michael's; details will appear here in the New Year.

Happy Christmas!

Monday, 8 November 2010

Children Altar Frontal

This is one of the things we created at the First Sunday Thing yesterday.

Monday, 25 October 2010

The Children's Society

The Children’s Society will be a focus of our attention at the next First Sunday Thing on 7th November. We have in mind to create a huge new covering for the altar decorated with pictures of children - ourselves and those the Children’s Society supports.

The Children’s Society is a Church of England foundation which makes a huge difference to our understanding and to the well being of many children. Often churches focus on its work at Christingle Services near Christmas - and we will be among them at our First Sunday Thing on 5th December.

For the First Sunday Thing in November we will be preparing for the Christingle Service at the First Sunday Thing in December. We will do this by finding out about the Children’s Society, by finding out about Christingles, by making our new altar cloth, and by giving out the Children’s Society candle shaped Christingle collecting boxes.

Sunday, 26 September 2010

3rd October

We will be back at St Michael's, Little Coates for October to March. It is good to use each of the two churches for six months at a time, and the heating is better at St Michael's which makes it a good choice for the colder half of the year.

There is a quiet said Communion service for half an hour at 9.30 a.m. for those who wish (as there is at St George's, Bradley at 6.00 p.m.), so the provision of formal worship and the opportunity for weekly Communion continues even on the first Sunday in ecah month.

For the First Sunday Thing at 10.30 we will be finding out that faith doesn’t have to be something big and extravagant, but faith the size of a mustard seed is enough. This will pick up something Jesus says in the Gospel reading set for the day. One of the things we will be doing in the first half hour is making musical instruments from seeds and toilet roll tubes to use in the act of worship in the second half hour.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Spoiling things

This is how ideas for the Confession were collected at the service on Sunday. The Bible reading included 'just as a pot can be spoiled in the hand of the potter', so one of the things we did was think about ways in which we spoil the beautiful thing God is still creating and recreating around us.

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

In the potter's hands

With one things and another, we have only just got round to planning the First Sunday Thing for next Sunday. The beginning of Jeremiah 18 (the Old Testament reading set for the day) will provide our theme. It speaks of us as clay in God's hands. Like any potter, he is free to re-shape the vessel when it appears spoilt. We've bought enough air drying clay for everyone who wishes to shape a small vessel and to take it home - if it doesn't look perfect then all the better. We will also try to collect in a large pot suggestions about things we spoil to help focus our prayers of Confession. And we thought a tour of the Organ would be a good additional feature of the service for those of any age who would like to climb up and have a play. We meet 10.30-11.30 in St Nicolas' for activities leading into a short act of worship.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010


The Saxon habit was to use the first wheat of the Harvest to bake the bread for the 'Loaf Mass' on 1st August. This ties in better with the Hebrew habit of offering God the whole of the 'first fruits' of the Harvest rather than our modern custom of waiting until 'all is safely gathered in' before sparing a small safe amount for the Festival offering. So part of our celebration of 'rich lives' on Sunday was making models of people out of bread sticks: we offered our bread and our humanity together in our service on Lammas Day.

Monday, 19 July 2010

A Rich Life

This will be our theme for the First Sunday Thing on 1st August. We will begin with Jesus' story (set to be read in churches that day) of the farmer who built new barns to store even more of his harvest but who died the following day. We'll be adding things to a big cupboard door - the things we know we hardly have space to store at home and the things we know we'd thrown away because we had too many of them. We'll be adding things to a big outline of a person - the things we think would make a human life 'rich'.

Monday, 5 July 2010

Prayer Wheel

People were creating their own prayer wheels with this sheet on Sunday. You can write seven topics or names for prayer on the left hand circle. Then the right hand circle (with the V shape cut out) needs fixing over it. It can then be rotated to reveal one day and one topic at a time.

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Recruits for God's work

There will be an attempt to create seventy different people at the craft activity at the First Sunday thing at 10.30 a.m. on Sunday at St Nicolas'. The passage from the Gospel reading for the day is about Jesus sending out seventy disciples to spread his work.

The church will also be full of the displays being put up for the festival weekend there.

There will not be a said Communion service at 9.30 a.m. because the clergy and others will be on their way to Gainsborough where a new Curate for the parish is being ordained. Instead there will be a Parish Communion at 6.00 p.m. to welcome her to the parish.

One way and another, it should be a memorable First Sunday Thing and a memorable weekend.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Symbols of prayer

At our different First Sunday Things we've often had something to make our prayers for people visible. Lighting candles has been an obvious one. A picture of links in a paper chain appeared on this Blog not long ago. In June the craft activity was making a concertina man. The idea was people could put the names of those they will be praying for on the fold of the concertina, which is his body, and use the names as a prayer focus, linking themselves to those who care for them and who they care for.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

An African view

One of the things highlighted at the most recent First Sunday Thing (which took place on Sunday in St Nicolas') was what the promise of 'life in all its fulness' might look like from places whith which the parish has a link. It was the seventy fifth birthday of the priest in Zimbabwe whose parish we support, so this was an obvious place at which to look. Alongside the Mission where he is based there are nine churches in the parish scattered across a wide District. Here, he says, you will find the poorest of the poor, who are subsistence farmers in the most unpromising situations. He has to travel to visit all these churches to enable the members to receive Holy Communion. For those nearest the Mission he uses a donkey cart. For those further way, he uses buses and then walks as many are several kilometres from the main road. Last year, the Bishop confirmed forty two candidates. The latest project we have supported has been to buy some chickens and goats so that the Mission can generate some money and move closer to being self financing.

Monday, 10 May 2010

Life in all its fulness

This is what Jesus promised, and this will be the controlling theme for the next First Sunday Thing on 6th June. We continue to gather in St Nicolas' through the summer. We continue to have a quiet half-hour Communion service at 9.30 for those who wish to pray in this way ahead or instead of the First Sunday Thing at 10.30. We continue to have different activities in different parts of the church for the first part of the First Sunday Thing and bring them together for an informal act of worship for the second half.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Contaminated water

One of Christian Aid’s suggestions for worship this year was to have a jug of dirty water and a jug of clean water clearly visible. They wanted people to be aware of how rare it is to have clean water or proper toilet provision available. At the last minute, we decided that our jug of dirty water should simply be one with oil in the water. This reminded us to pray for those who have oil washing ashore. Otherwise we followed Christian Aid’s suggestions. We focussed on the jug of contaminated water when we came to our prayers of confession, aware of our shared responsibility for what spoils our world and our own lives; we poured this water away as a sign of God’s forgiveness. We focussed on the jug of clean water when we came to our prayers for other people, aware of the promise that God’s purpose is like a fresh spring; we poured cups of this water into the Font as we prayed.

Monday, 26 April 2010

Beware Mosquitos

There is an example of Christian Aid at work including a You Tube animation about preventing malaria at http://www.christianaid.org.uk/whatwedo/eyewitness/africa/malaria-music-animation.aspx.

Monday, 19 April 2010

Christian Aid

We are now planning to make Christian Aid the focus for our next First Sunday Thing at 10.30 a.m. on Sunday 2nd May. There is a lovely image in one of the set Bible readings for the day that God's new creation will be like 'a spring of fresh water welling up to eternal life', and this is the image we shall use.

Christian Aid Week
follows in May, and people from St Michael's and St Nicolas' will be involved in the annual sponsored crossing of the Humber Bridge on Saturday 8th May and in door-to-door collecting in the week after.

We will be meeting in St Nicolas', Great Coates for this service on the first Sunday in May and on the first Sundays through the summer.

Monday, 29 March 2010

Planning for May and June

The group which plans each First Sunday Thing will be meeting in St Michael's at 10.00 a.m. on Saturday 17th April, and anyone is welcome to join in.

Monday, 22 March 2010

Good Friday

We will not have a First Sunday Thing on Sunday 4th April - it is Easter Day and we can't find a way to fit it in around the services of Easter Communion in each of our churches. But there will be the annual parish Good Friday Activity Morning from 9.45 until 12.15 on Friday 2nd April when St Michael's shoudl be full of people of all ages instead.

Monday, 15 March 2010

Prayer links

And here are some of the links in the prayer chain made at the last First Sunday Thing to link together the things for which members of the congregation wished to pray. It is still in St Michael's, and is still being used to prompt the prayers we offer there.

Monday, 8 March 2010

All Bishops

Everyone who came to the service yesterday had a chance to make a Bishop's hat for themselves, and a few of them wore theirs. Here are three of them.

Monday, 1 March 2010

Celebrating Edward King

Next weekend is a major celebration for the diocese of Lincoln with the centenary of the death of the holiest and most loved Bishop we have had in recent centuries. The Bishop King Learning Centre (our former Bishop Edward King Church) on the Willows is named after him.

The Archbishop of Canterbury will be at a huge service in the Cathedral on Saturday (to which a number of people from the parish are going) and he will be visiting other parts of the diocese over four days (including coming to Grimsby).

Our First Sunday Thing at 10.30 next Sunday will be our celebration in this parish, and we are putting together a trail to discover things about what made him such a special person that all this fuss is being made a hundred years after his death.

Monday, 8 February 2010

Weaving a rainbow

This is the operation under way yesterday. We were not thinking about Noah and the rainbow which signified God's promise to him. We were thinking about the rainbow over God's throne in the vision of heaven in Revelation.

Monday, 25 January 2010

Planning for 7th February

On our next First Sunday we now hope to share a vision of heaven, which is no small task to set ourselves. We hope that many of those who come will help us build up a collage along the north wall of the church illustrating what Revelation 6 tells us about what heaven will look like. As usual, there will be refreshments as people arrive for 10.30, then the opportunity to join a rehearsal for an 'instant' choir for some, making things and the big collage for others, all then brought together in a short informal act of worship finishing at 11.30.

Monday, 11 January 2010

Planning for February and March

At 10.00 on Saturday 23rd January in St Michael’s, a group of us will be planning the First Sunday Thing for Sunday 7th February and Sunday 7th March (but not for Sunday 4th April which is Easter Day when we will have our normal services in both churches rather than having a First Sunday Thing). Others are welcome to join us then (or to send us feedback or suggestions before then).