Advent… A time of waiting, a time where we have a choice – do we sit and wait impatiently for the big day to arrive or do we enjoy every day and do all we can to prepare the way? Do we sit on our hands, burn the Advent candle down another day, open another door on the calendar and look with impatience at the double doored or double waxed 24 or do we think about how we can open a door to making a difference in the life of someone we know or encounter for the first time, how we can bring a flicker or a burning flame of hope in the life of someone who is feeling in the dark?
Many friends, including my supervisor Karen, and colleagues of mine are on the team for a great worship resource called Spill The Beans – a Scottish lectionary based ‘pick ‘n’ mix’ filled with countless resources for each Sunday.
From the first Sunday of Advent to Transfiguration Sunday, Trinity are focussing on the theme of Light with new ideas popping into everyone’s heads as the weeks unfold ranging from new songs to ways in which we can use Ikea lights to build up a weekly installation! See the website (link above) for more information!
Karen and I have even written a song for the season!
The words are by Karen and the music by myself:
Click here to download a PDF of ‘We Light 1000 Advent Lights’
I’ve just realised that I am writing this post backwards, but as Magnus used to say on Mastermind….
It has been another busy, but incredibly fulfilling month or so. The journey has continued on through the theme of remembering – both those who have lost their lives in conflict as marked on the 11th November and those who have passed away in the parish over the years as marked in a service entitled ‘Remembering with thanks…Remembering with hope…’ It was a privilege to share in this service where I was able to participate in this emotional experience having known everyone for such a short period of time. Karen and I based the service upon the idea of turning tears of sadness into rivers of joy, where we set up a reflective element. For this, people were invited to collect two glass stones, which were to be placed into two glass bowls filled with water representing those who were there when we first cried as we entered this world and those who were there when we shed tears of sadness or joy as we grew up.
Everyone was also given a teardrop-shaped piece of paper upon which to write the name of their loved one, that they brought forward to be glued on to a spiral with several blue ribbons attached. At the end of the service, Karen and I held the spirals up at the door as people were invited to cut a piece of ribbon to carry the memories and thoughts contained in the spirals beyond the walls of the sanctuary and back into their homes and community. It was an incredibly moving experience, which I will remember for a long time to come…
Cosy Café also continues to go from strength to strength both at Calderside Academy on a Thursday where we have been running out of Hot Chocolate because of numbers and on Sundays where we have just brought our series on ‘Imitators of Christ’ to a close.
The last two gatherings have been incredible. We looked at how we must make the most of every opportunity and the idea of Carpe Diem. We opened the evening with a Crystal Maze theme, which concluded with the famous Crystal Dome. Well…almost.
We had an inflatable dome, which we filled with Carpe Diem and Loser tickets. These were on two different colours of paper, which cancelled each other out in points! Given my desperate need for a haircut, I can safely say that I wasn’t Richard O’Brien that evening!
From here we went on to watch a couple of clips – one from Dead Poet’s Society, when Robin Williams is talking to his students about the concept of Carpe Diem and one, which was a modern day adaptation of the Parable of the Talents, where three painters were given gold paint and different sized canvases to paint a picture for the wife of a wealthy man instead of different amounts of money to be invested or buried in the ground!
Our most recent gathering, which brought this series to a close, was about people who lived in the light – people who through their faith in Christ, felt called to a variety of challenges: Ruby Bridges, George MacLeod, George Cadbury, Saint Columba (played by yours truly!) and the apostle Paul. Each figure had a candle with each one getting larger as we went further back in history.
The evening finished off with our room of light where our journey back in time concluded with the birth of the infant Christ – the light of the World. We all placed our candles on the table before a blinding light and the Hallelujah chorus from Handel’s Messiah filled the sanctuary with light and sound!
I feel so fortunate to have come to Trinity for this placement – the plethora of opportunities I have to work with so many different age groups has been and continues to be great!
We are currently working with the Primary Schools in the Hamilton, Hillhouse and Blantyre area for the Calderside Learning Community Chaplaincy Team’s Bubblegum ‘n’ Fluff programme, which I will write about in the next couple of days. I better head back out to pick up some more Starburst sweeties! All will be revealed in the next post…