I learnt something from a child at our 5 Alive All-Age Service in October. We have been working through Brian McLaren’s book ‘We Make the Road by Walking’ at a rate of one chapter per month. Yesterday we reached Chapter 11 ‘From ugliness a beauty arises’ in which McLaren contrasts the conquest of Canaan in the book of Joshua with Matthew 15:21-39. In the Matthew passage Jesus heals the daughter of a Canaanite woman and goes on to feed 4000 in the local area, after which 7 baskets of leftovers are collected (signifying the 7 tribes who were displaced from the Promised Land). The Biblical narrative moves from one where God sides with ‘US’ against ‘THEM’ to one where all are included. God loves everyone, everywhere, no exceptions.
It was a challenge to communicate all of that in the space of one hour to a diverse congregation but we decided to try. We have used Godly Play story scripts to tell the Exodus and the Ten Best Ways (10 Commandments) in previous months so I attempted to write a script to tell the story of the conquest. We handed out maps and pictures to help people visualise what happened. Then we briefly summarised the Matthew account and we did a prayer reflection on Isaiah 2 – the ‘swords to ploughs’ passage, which involved shaping pipecleaners into swords and then reshaping them into symbols of hope for a future that would have ‘no more tears or pain’.
After the service a group of about 5 boys hung around to work with the desert bag and the story materials (the Ark of the Covenant, 12 stones, a sword and ribbon and blue material to depict the Jordan River and the Sea of Galilee, Dead Sea and Mediterranean). They found it hard to share, each wanting to do something different. One boy suddenly looked up and said ‘This is what it was like in the story – everyone wanted the land and they didn’t know how to share’. His Mum then gave them a ‘two minutes’ warning before they had to leave. The boy said ‘OK, everybody join in but try not to spoil each others work, we can do this!‘
So what did I learn? That everyone wants to protect ‘me’ and ‘mine’ often at the exclusion of ‘them’ and ‘theirs’. But if a child can see the problem of fighting over things and can take action to include and share, that gives me hope that all of us adults can do the same. We just need to be willing to try.
Last Night of the Proms Concert in Meltham – Tonight! – Sat 10th Oct 7:30pm
Come and join us for an evening of fabulous music and song in #Meltham tonight with M&MM Band, joined by guest soloist – the magnificent Sally Perkins. Tickets available on the door – £7.50 at St Bartholomew’s Church. Proceeds shared between the band and the church.
@homfirthevents @hashtagmeltham @melthamband
Sometimes, just sometimes God seems very close. And sometimes, just sometimes we are given the opportunity to hear his voice, however distantly.
The Men’s Night held at Clinton and Jean’s was one of those occasions. 25 men from different backgrounds listened to Terry Wilcox, Project Director with In2Out a Leeds based charity working with young people with convictions. Photo attached!
It’s the only such organisation in the country. It has 4 paid staff and 30+ volunteers, many of whom are mentors. It meets all the standards set by the Government and has worked with 70+ young people.
Terry is a man whose life is shaped by his desire to follow Jesus. He was a successful businessman who found himself in the unusual position firstly of simply talking to prisoners and who was then encouraged to start working with them when they were out. In2Out was set up. For details have a look at their website http://www.in2out.org.uk
If we had stayed till 2am there would still have been someone wanting to ask Terry another question. He did not claim to be a plaster saint. He was well aware of his own fragilities and fallibilities.
But in his telling his story and the story of those with whom he, his wife and his team worked, there was to me a sense that here was a man who was Jesus to them – on the basis “that Christ has no hands but our hands.”
He reminded us that the runaway slave Onesimus referred to in Paul’s letter to Philemon was described as – once he was useless, now he is useful. Many of us may feel useless. God seeks to make all of us useful.
Thanks again to Jean for the wonderful gift of hospitality – her apple pie was Great British Bake Off standard and the Shepherds Pie would have called many from the Harden Moss Sheepdogs Trials! And £180 was given to In2Out!
Help us raise funds to buy a new van for Jigsaw:
Jigsaw is a Christian Children’s ministry working to change poverty in the lives of children and families in the Philippines.
Jigsaw vans are an integral part of the ministry picking children up from street areas, taking children to hospitals, taking kids workers to Jigsaw’s different community projects and much more. Another Jigsaw van will help Jigsaw to expand their capacity to respond to the needs of children and Kate Lee and Mandy Latimer are running a half marathon to raise funds towards a new Jigsaw van.
Can you support Kate Lee & Mandy Latimer in their challenge to run a half marathon (The Perkins Great Eastern Run) to raise funds for Jigsaw to buy a new van. Date of run 11th October 2015.
How you can sponsor:
You can sponsor per mile or as a fixed gift.
Cheque: Jigsaw Kids Ministries (write on the back Van sponsorship please) Send to: Jigsaw Kids Ministries, 1st floor Chapel House, Chapel Lane, St Ives, Cambs – PE27 5DX.
Just Giving Text: Text JIGK13 £10 (amount is variable) to 70070
Direct Bank Transfer: Account name – Jigsaw Kids Ministries , Sort Code 30-94-43, account No/ 03952804 Lloyds Bank. Reference – van sponsorship
Just Giving website: Search for Jigsaw Kids Ministries (not live until next week)
Thank you very much, from Kate and Mandy
You are invited to share a Harvest Celebration on Sunday October 4th at 11am. This year we need more donations of food than in any other year. As usual fresh food will go to local people in need (please let us know if you know of a person who is in need) and the tins & rice etc. will go to the Meltham food bank. The food bank has been struggling with the recent high demand so we’re hoping to help them this year. Hopefully we will see everyone on Sunday but if you can’t make the service please consider a donation of food.
With warm wishes From All at St Marys