Today our Gospel reading was Peter’s Confession of Faith – weread it in The Message translation as this is more accessible for children. Jackson read it for us – he’s a brilliant reader and didn’t stumble at all over some quite difficult words! You can read it here https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+16:13-20
As usual everyone was given a cotton ‘goody bag’ full of interesting things: a stone, a jewel, a key, a building block. Some people had a marble – but others didn’t. And there were sweets.
The stone and the jewel were used at our ‘Sorry Station’. Here we thought about Peter ‘the rock’ who was sometimes more like jelly than rock. We brought our own ‘jelly-type’ failures to God and placed our stones together to build a cairn. It’s my job, as a priest, to proclaim God’s forgiveness – there’s something cery special about being able to do this for people individually (by name). SIns forgiven, the jewels were added to the cairn to symbolise God’s forgiveness.
For the ‘Prayer Station’ we used keys, as we remembered Jesus granting to Peter the keys of the KIngdom of Heaven. TOday we prayed silently for those who have no faith, have lost their faith or feel they need more faith. We simply placed the key on the cross as a token of our prayers.
The ‘Learning Station’ was surprisingly quiet (maybe because we were low on numbers this Bank Holiday Weekend). Here we used building blocks to build a Jenga-type tower, naming things that built up the church (people, nit buildings) – love, use of time and gifts, generous giving, preparedness to go along to services which suit others more that ourselves, kindness, looking after eachother…
Some people had a marble in their bag – these people were allowed to remove a brick around a discussion of what ‘demolishes’ the church – animosity, lack of love, complaining, keeping our gifts to ourselves ….
Which left the sweets – to eat or give away.
The second half of our service was a celebration of the Eucharist, ending with our favourite hymn ‘As your family, Lord, see us here’.
The whole service took 45 minutes – partly because we were few in number. But people stayed for a brew and biscuits, bring to an end the last of our All Age Eucharists for the Summer Holidays.