Saturday, April 28, 2007


Our church prayer meeting this week took to the streets around the area where we meet. We walked around in four groups praying about our relations with other organisations and churches as well as for God’s presence and wisdom. So we not only looked for other churches to pray for but also places such as schools and police stations and even potential church premises for ourselves. We had been encouraged to look out for inspiration on say posters or vehicles as we walked. Our group saw a skip filled with rubbish. As one of us was an artist who has used rubbish in her art she led us in a prayer about God transforming people’s lives in a similar way. As it was going dark we noticed that every now and then there was a house with a light on. This reminded us that there were Christians scattered around the area shining for God. We also noticed that one house to let was owned by Royal Estates. So we prayed for God’s kingdom to come in the houses around. Finally we thanked God for all these metaphors and more that had been a great encouragement in our prayers that evening.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Church Weekend Away

We’ve just got back from our church weekend away at Cloverley Hall. It was great to get see our old friend Detta - who now lives in Glastonbury. It was our pleasure to ferry her from and to Crewe station.

It was good to start Saturday off with a prayer time as I'd missed Friday's meeting putting Callie to bed. After breakfast we listened to Ian Rawley on a term that has been so overused in our circles as to become meaningless: being a prophetic people. Refreshingly he reinterpreted this as neither withdrawing from our culture or being so immersed in it that we become ineffective but instead being shapers of our culture.

In the second half Carole Rawley did an exposition of Ephesians based on Watchman Nee’s ‘Sit, Walk, Stand’. After lunch and after the Easter egg hunt - for which Callie got a runners’ up prize for her basket - we had a reflective workshop session. There were four stations with various questions and activities relating to what we had been looking at. I chose to identify three scriptures to stand in prayer with. I felt to pick Luke 10:2-3, Proverbs 6:6-5 and Ecclesiastes 11:6 on the theme of work and harvest. All this and a talent show in the evening with Nettes and Callie performing 'Eat Your Peas'. What a day.

Thankfully the Sunday morning prayer meeting was 8:30 rather than 8:00. After breakfast there was worship and reports from areas of the church. Then Steve, our elder, spoke on increasing our involvement in the community around where we meet and working in partnership with other organisations and churches. Over lunch I was thrilled to hear from the creche workers that Callie had been asking deep spiritual questions. And in the afternoon we broke bread and briefly prayed about some issued raised that morning - again using four prayer stations - before departing.

Phew! A great weekend!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Ten Things I Did For Easter

1. On Palm Sunday, Nettes & I taught the kids in our Sunday school, using pictures around the room to illustrate the story.

2. As a couple we did Bible reading and prayer times each night throughout the week including an interesting activity.

3. On Good Friday we broke bread with Matzo crackers together round our coffee table with nibbles to remind us of the last supper.

4. On Saturday Callie and I helped build an Easter garden for a local parish church.

5. Then in the evening I went to their Easter vigil service – a very dramatic lighting of the Pascal candle in a darkened building.

6. On Sunday morning we boiled our eggs with dyes. The one tie-dyed with a red onion skin worked best.

7. I encouraged Callie to wear her Easter Bonnet to church – a hat she had decorated herself.

8. We enjoyed the Easter service at our church especially the talk aimed at the children.

9. For lunch I cooked a leg of lamb and Callie made the table decorations.

10. On Easter Monday a dozen or so of us played 'C is for Chocolate' - a murder mystery jigsaw puzzle game.

Monday, April 02, 2007

A Day at the Museum

We’ve now broken up for the Easter so I’m off college and Callie is off school. And today the men arrived to install our solar panels. So to get Callie out of the house we went to the Museum and Art Gallery. We walked into the city centre down the canal at the end of our road. After changing Callie’s books at the library we crossed the square into the museum…

There is a wonderful three dimensional optical illusion in its foyer that I loved. Up the stairs we met the centre-piece of the whole museum: an impressive sculpture of the fallen angel Lucifer based on Paradise Lost. On our way to and from the Edwardian Tea Rooms for lunch we looked at an interactive Mandela in the Buddha rooms and some wonderful stain glass windows. We spent hours exploring the museum looking at exhibitions of candlesticks, chalices, jewellery etc. as well as exploring the galleries. I was struck by how much religion and especially Christianity is a theme in art – even in some contemporary art. We stumbled across a pair of storytellers telling the story of Ezekiel in front of a painting of the Valley of Dry Bones. Callie sat at the front enthralled for about quarter of an hour. In the archaeology section we found a game of Nine Men’s Morris to play. There were some other children’s activities including some dressing up but Callie’s favourite was making an Easter card.

After our long walk home we are both very tired.