Well we had a very good weekend. I guess we would have to say that we missed not having to plan the All-Age and Carol Services for Christmas and we missed being part of those events, but we also rather enjoyed not having to do all that too.
Instead we travelled to Bedford to share in a wedding and we got to have brunch with some old friends and visit others. The wedding was the third of three sisters, and it was great to be part of that event. Brunch on Sunday was an exciting affair too!
During our eight years in Bedford we talked a lot about what it meant to be a church in the community, about how we could serve the community, about what it meant simply to be church. We were not afraid to ask the questions and think differently about the answers. Yesterday's brunch was some of the fruit of that thinking. About 30-40 people gathered in the loach village hall and talked and ate together. A whole cross-section of people. I met someone who had come for the very first time and I sat and simply asked him questions about is life and listened to his story. There were no songs, no prayers, no preaching.
Having the time to talk, which hopefully leads to building relationships, that in turn create opportunities to share faith, was at the heart of the purpose of the event. there was a bouncy castle for the children and some craft activities for them too. The adults sat and talked.
Okay, so it's easy for the Christians to drift into comfortable small groups around tables, but generally, with a bit of effort, that didn't happen. You have to be intentional about talking with others, but everyone can do it because everyone can listen to someone's story. All you have to do is ask questions and listen carefully enough so you can ask more questions.
So we had a good time. I got to share our vision for the future with some old friends over the course of the weekend and we got to spend time with our daughter. All in all it was good way to spend our first weekend away from full-time leadership.