The Bible reading today was the story of some friends lowering their disabled friend down to Jesus. So far so good.
We thought a bit about how far the group would have carried their friend, the kind of ground they'd have walked on, how hot it might have been, how on earth they'd have negotiated getting him up the steps to the roof (didn't go into the Health & Safety briefing) before then dismantling the roof to get him through!
As a practical way of understanding the task, at each service a volunteer lay on a blanket and was carried from the back of the worship space to the front. That was ok, but we were indoors, went only a short way and had no difficult terrain nor steps. That soon brought home to us how much that group of friends cared for their disabled friend!
Well done to the volunteers and those who carried them!
Here's a photo of the ceiling in a traditional Middle Eastern house. It shown how complex a construction the ceiling and roof would have been.
Messy Church - On Monday coming Messy Church will be held at Acharacle Shielbridge Hall. It's for all ages, not only children as is often assumed.
What is it?
Messy Church is all about…
Finding creative ways to explore the Christian message
enjoying celebratory worship. This is done by telling the stories of the Bible as stories! Instead of a sermon there are activities for all ages to help each other enjoy. There is a short prayer. Sometimes there is singing too (as this minister isn't a great singer and can't play a musical instrument, and no-one else is confident enough to take it on, singing doesn't often happen!).
Although adults can come on their own but children must bring their own adult. We all chat and worship and eat together. Getting to know each other over shared activities has led to relationships and friendships that would otherwise not exist. It's lovely when eg an older person in the village who lives alone is spoken to and known by school age children.
So, who's coming on Monday at 3.30pm for fun, friendship and food - all because God inspires us to gather and enjoy God's love and care for us through each other!
It's been a while since I last posted - I'll try to be better.
Kilchoan for lunch club and join with the craft group. Walk the dog at Kilchoan too.
Desk time around those. Planning Sunday worship, a talk on loss & bereavement and thinking about a wedding in a couple of months (the bride and groom live abroad so the time line of organisation is different).
St Valentine was beaten with clubs, beheaded, buried under cover of darkness, disinterred and we celebrate by eating chocolate - happy Valentine's Day!
It's been a busy and rewarding few weeks - just Messy Church Christmas party tomorrow then thoughts turn to Sunday worship.
On Christmas Day there was worship at Acharacle then family time. It was lovely to slump into the settee and let others do the work (indulgent, I know) of preparing food and handing out presents. I think I managed to change channels on the TV and that was about all - oh, and walk the dog.
Taking time to simply be with those you love is part of Christmas - it's part of our whole lives too. God is with us all the time - how often do we stop and simply be with God? I know I don't do this often enough but I'll continue to try to do so - time with God and time with family.
I wish you all a very Happy Christmas - and the blessing of being with God, and those you love, at all times.
This morning at Strontian then Ardgour Primary Schools.
That's all five primaries across the greater peninsula (Ardnamurchan and Morven) and over 100 children experienced Bubblegum 'n' Fluff!
Thank you for your hospitality and for the fun - Happy Christmas to the pupils and staff.
After a few Peru posts it's time to get back to normal posts.
I don't quite know where November went but it's gone and now it's Advent. While clergy everywhere are encouraging those of faith to step back and take time to remember what we are going to celebrate at Christmas, clergy themselves are busy preparing regular and extra worship.
I now have a spreadsheet on the desk to help me with planning and preparations this month. I've posters to send out, an on-line church shopping order to put in and a presentation to finalise then off to a Presbytery meeting in Fort William (80 mile round trip and about 3 hours on the road). After that it's Acharacle Village Hall AGM and meeting where I'm the secretary. Oh, I need to get the agenda sorted for that....
Peru blog -
I realised I'd not ended the Peru blog!
For the last couple of days of the trip we motored back down the Ucayali to Iquitos. We'd been so far up-river that it really did take most of two days!
Was it worthwhile - oh yes!
Being able to share the God given gifts and talents we all have is part of faith. We do this for others - we are hands-on people of faith. It's not all one way. We were blessed by the smiles and attitudes of those we served. The villages are warm and friendly people. Caring is sharing, as a friend says!
It's not a duty or for self aggrandisement that those on the ship do this. The desire to help comes from something that connects each of us with each other. (Personally, and as you'd expect, I call that connection God.). The Vine Trust strap line is 'Connecting people to change lives.' So true - no-one comes back from these experiences unchanged.
Please, if you have enjoyed reading this and find yourself called to do more, do look at the Vine Trust website for more information. Thank you for reading to the end. God bless.