Monday, 16 May 2011

I forgot the camera!

Sometimes you really wish you had remembered the camera!

Yesterday we were at St PJs, the local URC church where we worship on a monthly basis. They know - and tolerate us - very well. We were following the lectionary readings which didn't exactly inspire. The theme of sheep/ shepherds seems to come around at least twice a year and there isn't much more we can say on the subject. However, comparing and contrasting the Acts 2 reading about the disciples selling their possessions and sharing according to their needs with the problematic parable of Jesus as the gatekeeper to the sheepfold led us to some musings about the nature of community.

We discussed different types of community - groups (loose unaffiliated groupings); associations (groups which come together around a single interest) and clubs (formal, regulated associations with rules about who is in and who is out). We then contrasted this with the community of the church - and reflected on what makes the church different.

We invited the congregation to put their hands up if...
they were not vegetarian
they were over 60
they didn't watch the FA cup final

and so on.

We passed a ball of wool around the church, linking all those who agreed that they were part of a particular relationship. This, significantly, included both Clare and myself - and Colin, the pianist.

We then reflected on what makes for broken relationships and for our prayers of intercession symbolically cut some of the strands of wool. Then, despite Colin being tied up, we asked him to play the normally unsingable "Bind Us Together" as we prayed for the Holy Spirit to re-tie the cords which could not be broken.

There were tears of laughter - and, I suspect not a few sentimental tears too. And, I fear, there may have been a few tears at the quality - or lack thereof - of our singing!

If only I'd remembered the camera.

Here's Clare's opening prayer:

Inclusive Community Opening Prayer

Come from birthplaces in far off lands

Come from birthplaces round the corner

God is for you

Come from distant hills and suburbs

Come from local terraced streets

God is for you

Come with your toys and play-mats

Come with your walking sticks

God is for you

Come in your wheel chairs

Come with your glasses

God is for you

Come with your hearing aids

Come with your special interests

God is for you

Come by yourself

Come with your civil partner

God is for you

Come with your grandchildren

Come with your friend

God is for you

Come with your neighbour

Come with your foster family

God is for you

Come with your highs and obsessions

Come with your lows and depressive thoughts

God is for you

Come with your addictions

Come with your eating disorders

God is for you

Come with your joys and celebrations

Come with your hurts and disappointments

God is for you

Come with your questions and cynicism

Come with your ideas and creativity

God is for you

Come for it is God who calls you here

To create a wonderfully diverse, inclusive community

God is for us.

© Clare McBeath, 2011

No comments:

Post a Comment