Sunday, 11 January 2009

Fun at the Fabulous Family Service

It was so good to be back in worship this morning. Bob was continuing the theme he started last week, about the sort of Church we ought to be. Lots of involvement from all ages- and Matthew and Hannah read their Bible passages extremely well.

We began by thinking about the five senses, and how things make a home welcoming [smell of clean sheets/sight of flowers/sound of music/taste of good food/hug from a loved one] then translated those ideas into things that make a church welcoming. The children gave out individually wrapped biscuits to all the congregation, saying things like "welcome to our church, thank you for coming today"

Everyone was given a small paper person [I'd punched them out of scrap paper yesterday afternoon] and asked to write the name of someone they would like to bring to church. Then Bob suggested we come forward and stick the person on the house - which had 7 locations - in the place where we felt our person would fit best.

  • Lounge - come and watch
  • Kitchen - come and eat
  • Bedroom - come and rest
  • Study - come and learn
  • Bathroom - come and be clean
  • Garden - come and play
  • Attic - come and work [we just had church loft re-insulated, so much work being done up there at the minute]

IM003153

It was interesting that the people were well distributed - although only 3 in the attic. Is that because we feel that newcomers to church should not be burdened with tasks? Not that many in the bathroom either - are we reluctant to point out to people their need of forgiveness and cleansing [and baptism?] It was a good exercise though, and got people talking.

We also wrote on small post-it notes "something we should bring to church" and stuck them on building bricks [thank-you, Jean and the Castle Playgroup for the loan of the equipment!!] which the children built up into a 'church' [Foundation layer - labelled 'Jesus' already pre-prepared by Bob] Again a variety of responses

  • people - family, friends, work colleagues etc
  • and attitudes - a prepared heart, a spiritual outlook, a forgiving spirit etc.
  • and things - a Bible, some money, my reading glasses!

IM003152

We finished with the great Salvationist hymn "Send the fire"

O GOD OF BURNING, CLEANSING FLAME - Send the fire!
Your blood-bought gift today we claim: Send the fire today!
Look down and see this waiting host,
And send the promised Holy Ghost;
We need another Pentecost! Send the fire today!
God of Elijah, hear our cry:Send the fire!
And make us fit to live or die:Send the fire today!
To burn up every trace of sin,
To bring the light and glory in,
The revolution now begin!
Send the fire today!
It’s fire we want, for fire we plead:Send the fire!
The fire will meet our every need:Send the fire today!
For strength to always do what’s right,
For grace to conquer in the fight,
For power to walk the world in white:
Send the fire today!
To make our weak hearts strong and brave: Send the fire!
To live, a dying world to save: Send the fire today!
Oh, see us on Your altar lay,
We give our lives to you today,
So crown the offering now we pray:
Send the fire today!

Written by William Booth [who shared my birthday, April 10th] who said, in his last sermon [in the Albert Hall, 3 months before his death at the age of 83]

"While wo­men weep as they do now, I’ll fight; while lit­tle child­ren go hun­gry as they do now, I’ll fight; while men go to pri­son, in and out, in and out, as they do now, I’ll fight; while there is a drunk­ard left, while there is a poor lost girl on the streets, while there re­mains one dark soul with­out the light of God, I’ll fight—I’ll fight to the ve­ry end."

Which set me up nicely for the service tonight

This evening was our annual start of year Covenant Service and Bob used some of the Baptist Union material. He finished his series on sermons from 1 Peter, with a great word from chapter 5. Lots of good hymns tonight too.

Little rant...we sang "The Church's One Foundation" which I love. But why will people insist on singing "She waits the consumation of peace for evermore..."? The dictionary says consumation refers to the act of something being "destroyed, expended, or wasted."

The hymnwriter used the word consummation which is defined as "the act of bringing to completion or fruition" My dear Dad used to rant about people not singing that one correctly, and in his memory I continue the tradition [Which means Bob always looks across to my pew and grins at me when we sing that hymn!]

We also sang Before the Throne of God above which you can find on You Tube to the modern tune, although I first learned it in my youth to a much older melody.

Before the throne of God above
I have a strong and perfect plea.
A great high Priest whose Name is Love
Who ever lives and pleads for me.
My name is graven on His hands,
My name is written on His heart.
I know that while in Heaven He stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart.

When Satan tempts me to despair
And tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look and see Him there
Who made an end of all my sin.
Because the sinless Saviour died
My sinful soul is counted free.
For God the just is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me.

Behold Him there the risen Lamb,
My perfect spotless righteousness,
The great unchangeable I AM,
The King of glory and of grace,
One in Himself I cannot die.
My soul is purchased by His blood,
My life is hid with Christ on high,
With Christ my Saviour and my God!

That one was written by Charitie Bancroft, a Pastor's daughter from Ireland. We pastor's daughters certainly love our hymns - particularly when they are full of good theology.

It has been a great day of worship, prayer and praise, feeding on God's word and enjoying fellowship with His People. I feel properly equipped to deal with whatever this week throws at me now!

5 comments:

  1. Sounds grrr-eat! I suspect we often need to get inside and unwind a bit before we take a bath! Sometimes, too people need to feel 'safe' enough to use someone else's 'facilities.'

    Things to take to church - the sermon notes of course. Plus a data projector, a laptop, a zapper, song sheets and a big sense of humour.

    Hoping 2009 is a really great one for KMFC

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks C - hope life in Dibley is truly blessed too !

    ReplyDelete
  3. Sounds like a wonderful day. Hope your church family stays inspired through the year!

    frances

    ReplyDelete
  4. Sounds like you have a lovely, lively church there!

    Mine is very quiet, but it is in a tiny village with a very ageing population and so I suppose that is to be expected, sadly.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Yes - we are really blessed with our fellowship here - so loving and caring, and supportive of our community. Seraphim, I am sorry yours seems quiet - but I am sure your youth and vitality is a spark of life, and an encouragement to the older folk. You never know what is round the corner in any community or church - 2009 could bring great new things your way!!
    blessings - Ang xx

    ReplyDelete

Always glad to hear from you - thanks for stopping by!
I am blocking anonymous comments now, due to excessive spam!