Friday, January 26, 2007

Role Play of Luke 10

Last night in the midweek home-group that meets in our house we were looking at Luke 10. But this was no ordinary Bible study. Each of us was given a card with a character briefing of someone in the passage – a disciple, a healed person, a neighbour, someone from another town etc. First we read through the passage trying to imagine it from our characters viewpoint. We then had some nibbles and for half an hour or so we role played the character. Just like in one of those murder mystery parties. I was, aptly, the host of the party who was giving hospitality to the disciples. As I circulated it became apparent that the person from the other town had been at the receiving end of the disciples ‘woes’ as they were rejected in that town. You’ll have to read the passage. The conversations gradually came together as one group and the disciple was defending the gospel against the criticisms of the out-of-towner. This sparked off some interesting discussions about the gospel of the kingdom, healing, etc. when we came back for our ‘debriefing’. We rounded off the evening praying about the gap between the faith and experiences of the 1st century Christians and us in the 21st century. We all really enjoyed the evening and were challenged by the topic.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

This is Our Church

I just found this little QuickTime video about our church with Steve and Helen Watts who lead it. It’s a pity that the producers used the title Pastor on the video – they’re just Steve & Helen. Technically Steve’s an elder but we don’t use it as a title anyway.

On the video you can see some good shots of our ‘developing city’ making it look very nice with the continental style bars and restaurants all along the canal. I was wondering where the graffiti was. But seriously they pointed out some important things about our church which I feel we are beginning to get a get a grasp of. Of course there is still further to go:

•Even though geographically we are very widespread we are a family based churched living our lives together and having fun.

•We are also church that loves to be involved in the community. With a kids club and a youth club as our mission projects, I think we are getting there.

•Yes, God has blessed us with so many creative people such as a professional mime, playwrights and artists and we are beginning to use these talents in our worship. Nettes and I have a heart for this as can be seen in the Family Services that we’ve done.

•Also it’s true that Birmingham is such a multi-cultural place. We’ve got a lot of refugees and asylum seekers. There is a lot of opportunity here to establish the kingdom. So let’s go for it.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Twelve days of Christmas

We had a great Christmas. We all opened our many presents from each other and a few from friends and family. We worshiped with a couple of our local Church of Englands (our church wasn’t meeting). We cooked several special dishes of food. We had friends visit. We visited family. Tried out their Wii. We even went out for a meal and Callie went to the Wacky Warehouse. Phew!

What all on one day? I hear you ask. But …

Well, our secret is that we have twelve days of Christmas. We are so aware of the pressure that comes with one day that we decided to spread our festivities over a longer period. We de-emphasise the actual day and don’t do too much then but have some really nice meals on other days in the twelve. After each meal we exchange small gifts – so Callie gets a present to open on all of the days. We like to keep decorations low key too mainly just displaying the cards. This year Callie and I decorated the card holders with shapes like autumn leaves. For a tree with have a Jesse tree decorated with items symbolising Jesus ancestors. And also this year an advent crown and some flowers.