Just home from my 2nd wedding. That makes an average of one every 6.5 months which I can just about live with :-) Definitely the most stressful thing I do as a minister. See 42: Todays challenges for the problems I had last time. Today the form filling went much better, instead we had a huge downpour of rain just as the bride arrived. The Church as Raunds ended up with standing room only for the service which is great.
Our best wishes and prayers go with David and Sharon for their new life together.
Well our WOT (Worship on Thursdays) is now three. Weeks old that is. See 42: WOT a success! for the original announcement.
Today we were up to 7 kids (ages 3 1/2 to 8) with 6 families represented. Plus 6 adults from Raunds Methodist to join in (and cook etc). That is still with no advertising as we are aiming to go through a gentle learning curve.
So far our themes have all been biblical stories (Noah, Lost Sheep/Coin, Lost/Prodigal Son). We have lots of messy creative stuff, plus worship, plus food, plus games - seems they like it so far. So far the ideas seem to be flooding in. Today we did:
Decorating Table runners for the party meal. (5 year olds love huge painting and drawing plus colouring and sticking)
Colouring lots of pigs which we used in a memory verse game
Making peg people for the Father in the story (happy/sad faces)
Icing gingerbread men (the two sons)
Plus a couple of games (with tenuous links to the theme).
I suspect that the food that Karen and Jane are sorting out each week is an attraction. Today was a party theme (as per the end of the story in Luke 15). So today we had Bangers, Mash and Beans followed by Jelly (not just jelly but 3 layer traffic light jelly), or Trifle and a special pink pig cake. Last week we had shepherds pie and fruit crumble while the week before it was Jacket potatoes with a whole range of fillings.
For the worship we have been using a DVD from Fischy Music which has lots of actions songs (with plenty of sign language) as well as some more traditional choruses from Kingsway CD's. Today we tried dramatising the scripture with us all trooping around the church for the different scenes, the pig pen and party scenes were particularly noisy :-)
It is wonderful to see people getting involved in this. For example Sylvia who volunteered to come in to make cups of tea for everyone at the beginning. She stays right the way through and is fast becoming a much loved great grandma for this kids. PJ is there as always taking part in everything (I love organising a game where the age range is 3 1/2 to mid 70's with all enjoying it). Les is also always there, quietly checking to see what needs doing and then getting straight on with it - all Churches should have a treasurer like this. Jane and Karen are the creative heart of this and put in loads of time preparing all the creative stuff and the food.
Still such early days but so much fun and encouragement - definitely already one of the highlights of my week, even on a week like this with a stinky cold.
We are working here to see if we can get local churches signed up with CAP: Christians Against Poverty (somewhat different situation from normal being rural makes it a different challenge to elsewhere).