Sunday Reflections-Easter 1

The Team Gathering-
Despite several days of indecision the Team Gathering happened last evening. People had pulled out and opted in, there were huge problems with the PowerPoint, but it happened. It was small, it was simple, even humble but it felt sincere and reverent. It was good, very good and I am really glad that hunger for that type of a spiritual experience triumphed over dodgy technology and apathy.The “pot trust” dinner was amazing and I was really touched that two people had gone to the trouble of sourcing organic offerings, in order to please my dedication to eating only those certified foods.
    Our Speaker and Celebrant had driven many extra kilometres to be with us, after participating that afternoon at a funeral in Sherbrooke. He gave a really interesting homily on the Resurrection story as portrayed in the Gospel of Mark, coped without complaint with the makeshift PowerPoint order of Service and Celebrated the Eucharist with a thoughtful reverence. Janice had chosen songs by my new favourite Band- “The Rend Collective”, and even baby Elijah joined in the singing! As happens always on these occasions, I felt an overwhelming gratitude for the privilege of holding the Gathering in this house and went to bed last evening more at peace than I have been in recent days.

The All Ages Gathering-

Sadly the peace evaporated overnight (such is fallible human nature!) and I awoke with sense of apprehension as to just how the coming morning would unfold!  “Oh ye of little faith” it actually unfolded in a manner far beyond my expectations!Just as with the Team Gathering, the past week had seen a flurry of emails as people wrote to say they could not take part, as previously promised.
     At the March Sunday Gatherings Design Team (SGDT) meeting I had tentatively proposed taking our Easter Season Theme “Stations of the Resurrection” to new levels by actually dramatising three passages from Luke 24, using mime, narration and a physical “journey” by the congregation, following the narrative through 3 rooms of St. Stephen’s House. A number of reluctant thespians had been coerced into participating and today was “the day”!
      Nick picked me up just after 9am and I was soon crawling around with a staple gun attempting, with the use of a beige sheet and a fabric covered hoolahoop, to transform the worship room mantelpiece into the “Empty Tomb”. Next it was upstairs to the Children’s Room to lay out some vaguely first century props around a low table, where the disciples were to be found by the women coming with the news of the Resurrection, and finally setting a “dinner table” (appropriately in the dining room) where the Emmaus Road scene was to take place as the culmination of our journey.
    The diverse crew of somewhat reluctant “volunteers” had been asked to arrive early so that we could attempt a run through, this happened with some degree of success as our congregation is not noted for punctuality. But once the Worship Gathering began Fred led us in a series of perfectly and carefully chosen songs, Liz provided considered prayers at each station and the mimes excelled in interpreting the scenes accompanied by Blair’s clear and expressive readings. The toddlers were seamlessly swept up into the scenes (isn’t it totally probable that children were there but that their presence was not recorded by the Gospel writers?) and, yes, I think that the Gathering was successful in causing us to enter, just for a moment, into the Scriptures and to experience a glimpse of the mystery. All in all this weekend has been very full but good, very good!
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