This evening I went to my first ever Blessings workshop.
My guess is that it would be a new thing for most other people too.
The background is that during Advent our Methodist Circuit (Leicester North Circuit) is bringing to a close it's "Year of Prayer" and one of the closing elements is to have four blessings, one for each Sunday in Advent. Each week a blessing will be used as part of the advent candle lighting liturgy and everyone will be given that blessing on a card (nicely printed with photo behind). The idea is that you take the blessing card home and then pass the blessing onto someone else.
So if we are going to have these blessings they needed to be written, This evening at Syston Methodist Church we had the second blessings workshop where people from the circuit were invited to come and write blessings. The first was at Claremont Street Methodist Church on Tuesday afternoon. Both workshops were ably led by Bev and Sue.
The dozen of us gathered this evening had an enjoyable time learning about blessings, writing them and sharing them. There were plenty of fun with humorous even daft suggestions as well as some that where really thoughtful and thought provoking as they expressed various aspects of what it is to be blessed by God. It was lovely to see how people brought their own life experiences into the blessings they wrote covering everything from midwifery to the desire to be blessed by thinking that leads to ordered words being spoken.
I'll share a couple I wrote. There are others much better, so I am confident these won't be needed for the cards.
The first is inspired by the Christian New Media Conference I went to recently as well as a challenge to rewrite Psalm 139 at our Circuit quiet day last Saturday ("Oh Lord you have googled me …"):
May the blessings of the God, who knows you better than Google; Facebook; and your Web Browser combined and who still loves you, bring life to your avatar and peace to your online communities.
The second is more conventional:
May God the Father create new life in you.
May God the Son be born again in you.
May God the Spirit set you free.
May God: Father, Son and Spirit bless you.
As I say, not prizewinning but great to spend part of the evening with friends, meeting some new people and celebrating God's blessings together.