On Friday Britain has a day off for the Royal Wedding and though many might be cynical of the media hype most are grateful of the holiday and an excuse to party.
For me the whole affair was rather poignant, as the day before was something of a bad news day: two friends in our church both lost loved ones at tragically young ages. But still as my parents used to say ‘life must go on’.
One project that we are involved in our community is our local In Bloom and we had a launch party for it on that afternoon. There were a couple of tents out and Nettes ran a cake decorating stall. Their was some seed planting, balloon modelling, face-painting but the aim was to let people know about our local In Bloom later this year.
Of course this wasn’t the only party on the day. Outside Ladywood Health & Community Centre – the venue our church hires for its meetings – there were some tents, stalls and also bouncy castle.
Round the back in the Ledbury Centre - our little church building – the folks in the Drop In where glad to find somewhere that they could chill out away from the wedding celebrations. The Drop In developed out of our ministry to the homeless and some homeless guys who regularly come to the Drop In were sifting through some clothes that had been donated while others were playing snooker.
Just down the road in the Methodist Church, the local Christian charity that we have ties with, Karis Neighbour Scheme, were having their party.
Karis do a lot of work serving people in the community generally being good neighbours. This includes work with many refugee and asylum seeker families and it was good to see some of them there.
It was really glad that I popped in to get this picture of Roo as I also saw Phillipa from Karis’s Grow Well Programme - a project that encourages health through the therapeutic effects of gardening and making contact with the natural environment. It was fortunate that she found me as she had lots of free sun flower seeds for me to take to our In Bloom launch but couldn’t find us.
For us the celebrations didn’t finish on the Friday. On Saturday a lot of us from our church piled down to Jess’s to party in the evening with drinks and nibbles.
Then on Sunday our church had a Royal Tea Party for our next Family Church – our alternative style service with fun activities for all the family. We were making bunting, table decorations and colouring in a picture of a royal banquet while discussing the meaning of Jesus parable of the wedding banquet and how God invites us to be part of his kingdom. We even sung ‘I cannot come to the banquet’ before sitting down to our feast.
And finally, today Alex and Ellen a couple from our church are getting married and I love this description of them as ‘kingdom royalty… surrounded and supported by God's royal priesthood’, which is not only apt for this weekend but also reminds us of the wonderful truths of the Kingdom of God. A pity I forgot to charge the camera for that one. Oh well - never mind!
Phew! What a weekend! I can identify with the verger in this viral video:
David is an active member of Church Alive! A church group that meets in a community centre in Birmingham and in each other's homes. He teaches psychology and is married with one daughter at primary school.