The sun came out last Sunday! Physically it was a delight to see blue skies, at least by mid-afternoon, and enjoy a warm evening. Spiritually there was a different sort of brightness being spread – in the form of the Junior Church ‘Promotion’ section of morning worship and the afternoon social gathering we shared at East Coker village hall.
I still have some, actually when I think about it I have most, of my Sunday School prize books on the study shelves! Last Sunday we distributed this year’s crop of books to the young people of South Street. During the service each group was called to the front and individuals received their goodies followed by a prayer for the whole ‘class’ offered by their specific leader. There was just something very touching about this opportunity to say ‘well-done’ to the youngsters. The essence of these prizes is that they are not really won as no exam has been passed, instead they are ‘given’ – with love and goodwill – a sort of ‘thank-you’ expressing our gratitude that these young people are part of our church community.
During that service we also showed our admiration for Karen and Pauline for all the effort they have put into Junior Church over the years – now they are stepping down from some of their responsibilities we wish them well.
The day continued as many of us travelled over to East Coker and spent the afternoon together – one of the very best church events of the year. Games and barn-dancing were the order of the day before a shared tea and all of this was followed by Family Communion. The Eucharist is another occasion of ‘thanksgiving’ – we express our gratitude for the grace of God expressed through Christ, and we also, I think, express our love for each other as fellow pilgrims – nothing seems to bind us together more than receiving bread and wine. Perhaps that was even more evident last Sunday afternoon as we departed from our ‘normal’ administration routine and offered the elements from the front, alongside a blessing for children.
As the rest of us drove back home the members of our Solid Rock youth group and their leaders ended their day by walking back into Yeovil together – for another meal, this time of a Chinese flavour!
A great day of supportive fellowship with a real inter-generational mix. A day when we expressed our thanks and offered our encouragement. A day when it felt a real privilege and joy to belong to this body we call ‘Church’.
With best wishes,