Catching up… Easter

I have finally decided to sit down and get this blog up to date…
So what has been happening since I last posted apart from the whole of Easter?!

As a Candidate and University student, it was very difficult to get too ‘involved’ with the plethora of events that take place in the run up to and the week preceding Easter Day. This year, it was an entirely different ball game and I feel very privileged to have been part of such a wonderful series of events.

During the month of March, I had the pleasure of working with the Calderside Learning Community Chaplaincy Team to bring the message of Easter to over 300 P7 pupils across schools in Hamilton and Blantyre. From the devouring of Creme Eggs to reflecting upon the Crucifixion of Christ, The Easter Code, takes its participants on a journey through the events of Easter.

Beginning at the point where Bubblegum ‘n’ Fluff ends, we acted out a ten minute Gospel, which stops at the point where Jesus is about to enter Jerusalem. The journey then continued with the young people moving around different stations, some of which were set up inside the famous Calderside Chaplaincy Team gazebos! (The one shown here is the tent where we show the arrest of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane using the video The Miracle Maker.

I got a terrific opportunity to lead the different stations and experience what message they had to offer. I learned an incredible amount about Pesach, the Jewish Passover meal, with its variety of symbols, signs, scents and savourings!

I really enjoyed hosting the Gethsemane tent however as it was great to speak with the young people about the fact that the right thing to do is not always the easiest. In the video clip, we see Jesus asking if there is any other way. From there the attention turns to temptation as a road out of the garden appears and the chance to bail. But Jesus knew that he had to go through with this for it was not his will but his Father’s. We compared it to school life where sometimes when people are picking on others, it is all too easy to join in or walk away and pretend that it is not happening instead of telling someone who might be in a position to stop it. I could see the cogs turning in the heads of some of those present by the way they were engaging in our conversations, which was great!

Through different media and discussions, five topics were covered in the course of this journey: Sharing, Seeking, Serving, Struggling and Sacrifice, which allowed the young people present to see what Easter is really about.

Having been involved in both of the chaplaincy team’s programmes and now thinking towards where I hope to begin my ministry, I hope that I will be able to take these ideas with me to wherever I end up and share them with the young people I get the honour of serving in the days ahead.

After recovering from the repeated building and taking down of the equipment required for The Easter Code, it was time to think about the events of Holy Week. This year, Karen (my supervisor) and I worked on the theme of …holding the story of love…, which you may have followed at the blog published especially for that week.

That week was special. To have been able to help put such a creative and thought-provoking series was something that I have been desperate to be able to do since doing ‘bits n bobs’ throughout my candidacy.

The process of weaving together a tapestry of words, textures, symbols and songs in a way that transports us through the events of Holy Week in a way that people with some understanding of the events or none at all can feel included and challenged by what Easter means to us in the twenty-first century.

On Easter Sunday, we moved from holding to letting go – letting go of our grief andgrievances, just as Mary had to let go of Jesus. Each of the congregation were given a small token with a crown of thorns – the same as the one on the back of our Holy Week bookmarks. Towards the end of the service, the congregation were invited to come up and put these tokens at the foot of the cross as a symbol of leaving our burdens behind and picking up a daffodil, a symbol of new life, new hope and new beginnings…

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