5 Alive – Sept 2015
The people of God were on the move – but how were they to live? What principles were going to guide them? We sang talked and prayed through these questions.
We explored through Godly Play the Ten Best Ways to live story (otherwise known as the Ten Commandments!)
Mandy Aspland organised the materials – we had sand and people -and we gathered in front of the altar with floor cushions and chairs/choir stalls forming two squares. And together both the adults and the children wrestled with the way the 10 Commandments impacted on our lives today.
When the people of God escaped through the waters into freedom, they didn’t get the happy ending they wanted. In fact they found a lot of things to complain about. Life was still difficult but in a different way.
The refugees escaping from Syria and neighbouring countries have fled one kind of oppression and find themselves in a different kind of ‘desert’ with no place to call home. So we talked together : What should Britain do? Together we explored the issues around the tables. We had newspaper clippings available with different views to help the discussion. We asked the question ‘What can we do?’ both as individuals and collectively. We reflected on Meltham’s response at the Carlile Institute
We then had Footprint prayers.: People were invited to draw around their own feet (with or without shoes). Some foot-shaped outlines were available for people who may find this difficult or just not want to do it. They wrote or drew inside the outline those things that they find difficult in their own life. Outside the line wrote or drew the things that we imagined the refugees will be finding difficult. We asked the questions: “What do you want God to do for you? What do you want God to do for the refugees?”
We then Invited people to place their feet along the walkway across church as a symbol of our joint prayers. It worked! There was a wonderful path of footprints from all ages!
At the last Five Alive, we committed ourselves to support the Campaign to End Child Slavery. Photographs of the children with the letters spelling out End Child Slavery were taken. Liz Ryan put them onto postcards. We had a list of names and addresses of people we could write to protest against child slavery. They’ll be posted this week and hopefully we’ll have a response by October’s Five Alive!.
A PRAYER FOR ASYLUM SEEKERS AND REFUGEES
Merciful God, your son was a refugee and shared the suffering of people fleeing from danger in fear and repression. You know what it is like to be hungry and afraid and have nowhere to call home.
God of the displaced, we pray for the safety of the refugees and ask that they will find a place of security. Protect them from those who would seek to exploit them and from danger.
God of hope, we thank you for those organisations who are working to bring relief and comfort to those displaced, showing glimpses of grace in the darkness of despair. God, give them strength.
God of justice, guide the nations and the leaders of the world towards peace; stir hearts to be generous and compassionate. God, help us to play our part in bringing about the change that we want to see.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.