It is sometimes the simplest things that give the greatest pleasure - last night I taught a girl at our sewing group at church how to sew on a button. She was embellishing the cushion cover she had made the week before - and chose 4 buttons from Susan's button tin to sew on in a square design. She was so proud of herself for getting them sewn on in the right places, with the holes and stitching lined up neatly. And I felt a buzz for having taught a basic, traditional skill to someone so eager to learn. It is over 45 years since my grandmother taught me how to sew buttons - will Abbie pass this knowledge on to someone else in years to come?
Last Saturday, I went with Bob to the Induction of our friend David Betts to the pastorate at Stockton Heath. You can find out full details of that on Bob's blog. Bob didn't mention [but I would hardly expect him to!] the stunning quality of the banners, one of which was celebrating the 200th Anniversary of the Church, and was decorated with buttons.
I know that the origins of Maypoles are probably pagan rituals, and Cromwell and co banned them because they allegedly caused 'drunken revelry and lewd behaviour' - but this morning, it was absolutely lovely to watch 5-year olds happily skipping round, weaving the coloured ribbons in and out and making the "Barber's Pole" pattern. Schoolchildren have been dancing round the maypole for years, and I think it is a tradition worth preserving[the dancing not the paganism, that is]
One of the newest maypoles in England is at Dunchurch in Warwickshire, erected in 1996. Dave Woods, our student, is leaving us in the summer, to be pastor at the Baptist Church in Dunchurch. I must ask him if he is any good at Maypole Dancing!
Hearing reports of the devastation in China and Burma in these past few days, and watching the Christian Aid Week Video on Sunday, I am conscious that we have so much to be thankful for, and yet complain so easily about the slightest thing going wrong. I came across this prayer yesterday, and liked its simplicity, so I pass it on...
For food in a world where many walk in hunger,
For faith in a world where many walk in fear
For friends in a world where many walk alone
I give You thanks today, and every day.