Cafe Church 8th October 2017
Cafe Church 2nd Anniversary, Foundations.
Today our subject was ‘foundations’, what they are, where we get them from and how we use them. We had our largest congregation of children and they used straws and sellotape to build the largest structures they could and these were finally all put together to make a tower. In our prayers we remembered all those suffering in the West Indies from the hurricanes, the earthquake victims of Mexico and the people of the Korean Peninsula. As the photograph shows, we finished with ‘Stand by Me’, accompanied by tambourines, by Ben E King.
Cafe Church 13th August 2017
Our Patronal Festival was moved to the 13th August to coincide with the Armenian church’s celebration of the saints life, Armenia being where he was martyred. After a short quiz on what we know of this disciple, there was a summary of his life that provided all the answers. We went on to say his prayer of blessing and all the cakes and desserts provided were Armenian delicacies, which included Tahini cakes, figs and dates with a maple honey drizzle, Susam Anoush, Marlenka and Mhallabiet. We went on to talk of ‘blessings’ and some contributed to our discussion by naming the blessings they experienced. Our readings and hymns were all joyful and we hope the saint would have approved of this unusual tribute to his life and work. We were especially delighted to be joined actors Sylvester McCoy and Robert Picardo well know for their roles in Dr who, Lord of the Rings and Startrek respectively.
Cafe Church July 9th 2017
Our July Cafe Church theme was on the subject of childhood and youth. A full congregation was very forthcoming with the differences between the childhood of years past and that of today and there was a video on the ‘Millennials’ who are all those born after 1984. We all agreed there were many differences and challenges for today’s younger people and they all need our love and support. We had new helpers today and are very thankful to them for their input. The children were also busy, making colourful plates with their thoughts on them and they too suggested their own challenges, including doing handstands in the swimming pool.
The Big Celebration at Cafe Church.
The largest congregation ever turned up for The Big Celebration today. It wasn’t a problem, we just got more chairs out from storage and everyone squeezed in.
We remembered Jo Cox, murdered last year, but also turned to remembering the victims of the Manchester and London atrocities.
We sang songs, lit candles for those who had died, gave thanks for those who had helped and prayed for all who were suffering.
Our readings were about love and how it conquers hate and we pledged ourselves to stand with everyone, rejecting the message and actions of hate and following Jesus’ message of love for all.
There were tears shed as Josh Groban sang ‘You Raise Me Up, while the children made pictures of Manchester bees and woollen cross pictures.
A successful service for all, so thanks to everyone who attended.
The subject today was the forthcoming week of prayer called ‘Thy Kingdom Come‘ so we had an introduction from Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, on how it is being organised. St Bart’s has registered and will hold a special low key service at 7.30pm on Thursday 25th May.
We were pleased to greet Heather, curate of Guilden Sutton and Plemstall to our service and more new faces. It is always great to meet and chat over coffee and cake, but we also got another unexpected guest in the middle of a race. He was clearly in need of food and water, so it was duly produced and after taking his fill he flew on his way.
If St Francis could preach to the animals and birds, who are we to argue.
Today was Palm Sunday, so Cafe Church was in reflective mood, with much of the service dedicated to what happened in that first Holy Week and how Jesus would have felt about it. Judy brought in a ram’s horn instrument from Israel and we started by listening to the type of song sung by the crowd as Jesus entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. With the sun outside and the door wide open it was easier to imagine what the atmosphere would have been like that day.
Jean Jones read our prayers for the first time and we remembered all those suffering today, both locally and throughout the world.
Happy Easter from the Cafe Church Team.
Today we struggled to get everyone into Cafe Church and we ran out of chairs, so thanks to those who stood for our service. The subject was ‘Water’ and after some interesting facts on what it is and what it can do, we went on to discuss some of the events around water in the Bible, which mentions it 722 times. Tables worked together and came up with many different examples including The Flood, crossing the Red Sea, the Baptism of Christ, the turning of water into wine and the calming of the storm. Later the tables again worked together to illustrate when some of us had suffered from the lack of water, what that had done and how appreciative they are now of being able to turn a tap on. Our songs were all about water and so were our prayers that followed. The children used coloured rice to make rainbow pictures and filled jam jars with bands of the coloured rice provided.
Jean and John updated us on the work they had done on helping refugees and in spreading good news and this work is ongoing.
The subject was ‘Walls‘ today and what a lively subject it proved to be, while we discussed the building of walls and how to deal with them.
During the interval everyone was asked for some actions for the church to follow and two were agreed upon. The first was to explore reaching out to the Muslims around us to ensure there were no barriers between us and Shaun, John and Rob agreed to follow that up. The second was to explore adopting a refugee family and seeing what we could do to support them. Jane and Jean will follow up a lead in one of Friday’s national papers.
Our music was supplied today by Ken, who sang some of Elvis‘ gospel songs and introduced each with a history of who had written them or who had found them inspirational.
The coffee and cake kept coming and the service ended half an hour late after this emotive service just kept coming too.
The Lord’s Prayer was the subject of Cafe Church today.
A short sketch by John and Jane was very popular, where the Lord’s Prayer was said and God answered. It was seen as very enlightening, in addition to being funny and thought provoking. There was also a practical exercise for everyone, taking a line of the prayer and exploring what it meant to us. There was our Bible readings, prayers and songs, as usual, but we were also able to listen to the Lord’s Prayer as it was originally spoken.