Three Weddings & a Funeral
Is it August already? Here's Justin with our latest blog post.
During the last month I took part in three weddings and a funeral – I mentioned that movie during a sermon on Ruth 4 right at the start of July! The last of these weddings was last Saturday at St Peter’s, a clear highlight was the guard of honour for the bride and groom leaving the church under an archway of pitchforks and hockey sticks, with a tractor waiting to transport the happy couple onwards.
In a month of weddings, funerals and in-person worship, the sight and feel of an ever-growing number of people able to gather together has shown how much community and physicality has been sorely missed over the last year and a half. An important part of being community is about supporting and coming alongside one another during the sorrows and challenges of life, sharing and celebrating together during the joys and highs, and uniting regularly in worship as one whether life feels stormy or sunny.
Whatever the British summer brings, storms or sunshine, there are plenty of great opportunities to share fellowship, fun and community in our summer menu, to invite and welcome new friends or to re-engage with old friends perhaps down the beach, at a picnic, over a walk or sharing a cream tea or Pimms together.
Many of you will be part of home groups or have enjoyed one of the Tearfund quiz nights, remember the Christmas ball or perhaps a movie night in recent years. The harvest barn dance in 2019 was a memorable evening of tapping toes, food, fellowship and celebration. Whether you were dancing or cheering from the sides, it was great fun.
Personally, my highlight was watching young and old, experienced and beginners, couples, singles and families all with smiles on their faces as they came together in creative dances. The compere gave out instructions co-ordinating the next move, as the accordions, piano, whistle, trombone, bass and percussion set the rhythm. What starts off a bit fumbly and chaotic, slowly turns into a coordinated, unified beautiful movement pattern. The key thing that made this whole dance work was both listening carefully to the gentle but authoritative voice of the compere - almost in the background - alongside the loud sounds of the instruments and then responding with action whilst watching closely and coordinating with your fellow dancers.
In a way, this image illustrates how the church works - called to be as one in the world.
We are all disciples together entering a pattern of relationships or a dance with each other for the good of the world God made. Our compere is the quiet voice and power of the Holy Spirit, leading and guiding our hearts as we seek to grow, learn and follow Jesus in whole-of-life discipleship.
The centre is our collective worship, from which our life as the body of Christ flows into shared communal lives and out into our communities.
May your August be safe, shared and richly blessed.
Grace and peace
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