Yesterday afternoon, whilst others watched tennis, football or F1, whilst others sat in gardens reading, whilst others walked or swam or sunbathed, I sewed. I really enjoyed the time spent playing my part in the team-work of creating this banner.
I am really looking forward to seeing the new 'characters' that are designed/made today and seeing this artwork develop further.
On Sunday, some folk made a start on our shared summer craft project - a banner based on some clip art we use quite a lot that expresses somehtign of how we see oursleves as 'church'.
The great thing is that different people can contribute in different ways... some have donated fabric, some can draw templates, some can choose fabrics, some can cut out, some can iron on interfacing, some can pin the peices in place, some will (eventually) sew it together (we could glue it, but sewing is more permanent). No-one has every skill or resource we need, but lots of people have some of them. Together, we can make a banner because, together, we are the church.
I reckon it's looking great so far, and whilst, yes, I have done the ironing on of interfacing, and a fair bit of pinning, the bulk of the creativity lies with others.
I'll try to remember to post updates as we progress during the summer, and, in due course, the finished article!
I also offered a second set of options for pondering about the church as 'the Body of Christ', again , feel free to use or ignore, as seems best to you! (Blogspirit uses a slightly odd numbering system!)
One Team - The Body of Christ
Questions to Ponder Privately or to Discuss
There is no correct order, nor any expectation about how many, if any, questions are explored. Simply see if there is something that prompts thought or discussion and off you go!
You are the Body the Christ –
What does the Body of Christ look like?
What gifts and skills are needed?
What gifts and skills are lacking or need to be developed?
How do we identify potential and encourage learning/development?
You are equally important
We talk about the ‘Priesthood of All Believers’ and that everyone is of equal worth, but is that how it feels?
How do I value myself, and is this judgement accurate?
How do I value others, and how accurate is that judgement?
How do we learn to value each other equally whilst recognising and affirming difference?
How do we value each other enough to ‘call out’ what is unhelpful or demeaning?
What’s the point?
Why does the church exist?!
What does it mean to ‘build one another up for the common good’?
If we agree that we are the Body of Christ, that everyone is equally valued and that our ethos is of inclusion and flourishing, what does that look like in real life?
What one encouragement is there
For me, about my own intrinsic worth and unique gifting?
That I should speak aloud to someone else in our church?
That, together, we are moving in the ‘right’ direction if this is what we seek to do and to be?
I know that there are some readers of this stuff who value any resources that I share, so, over this sumer, I'll post the 'to ponder' material from each Sunday, in case anyone finds it useful or helpful.
Last Sunday as we began our series on 'Teams' we looked first at the gifts God hs given us, and the gifts/roles we need in our church. Here (hopefully) is what I offered as a first set of questions 'to ponder'...
Look at this list of gifts which are identified in the Bible, and think about, or discuss, any of the questions that follow…
Which of these gifts do I think I have?
Which gifts do I have that are not on this list?
Which gifts on this list puzzle or worry me?
How does this list compare with what is needed in our church?
How am I using my gifts in our Church?
How does this list compare with what is needed in the wider world?
How am I using my gifts in my everyday life?
Are there gifts or skills I would like to cultivate, and what will I do about that?
Are there gifts I feel are somehow ‘better’ or ‘lesser’ than others? Why?
Do I feel ‘inferior’ or ‘superior’ to others and why is this?
How can I learn to value myself, and others, as we are valued by God?
To whom should I speak a word of encouragement today?
Not the most lovely photo ever, but an honest one - my feet having a much needed soak in warm soapy water ready for me to exfoliate and moisturise them!
I've never been one for pampering, not remotely girly in that regard, but mostly I look after my skin - except my feet. They get neglected. Washed daily, dried carefully, then put to work pounding pavements, or climbing stairs, or just generally stuffed into shoes or sandals and stood on.
Recently I had for some reason looked at my feet, and realised what a terrible state they were in - heels so dry they had no colour (thankfully not yet cracked, but it wouldn't be long), toes with dry skin flaking off of them... not a pretty sight.
So I finally made the time to sit down and take care of them. Twenty minutes soak, the website advised, so I did that. Rub with a pummice stone it said - I don't have one but my 'style file' seemed to do a good enough job. Massage with oil - the baby oil I keep in for anointing came into its own. Put on socks and sleep in them - in this heat? Well OK.
I used the twenty minutes to reflect and to pray - something else that all too easily gets squeezed out when I am busy doing good, Godly, stuff. I smiled to myself as I saw a parallel between my soles and my soul, each in need of a little TLC.
The website tells me I need to tend my feet for several days to restore them, which means I need to make time for repeating this procedure daily for a couple of weeks, and thereafter on a regular basis. My soul, likewise, needs time to soak in the love of God, to have its dry edges smoothed, and to be anointed with moisturising, refreshing oil of God's Spirit.
I don't promise you photos of my restored tootsies - I'm not sure they would ever win prizes for their appearance - nor will I share my prayers. But I do know what both are needed and each is beneficial.