First of all a report on last evening’s Team
Gathering: –

      If there is one common denominator for the three
Gatherings we’ve had since Summer 2013, I guess it would be “Plan C”. That’s
because, at each Gathering we seem to have had an extraordinary number of last
minute catastrophes, all of which required a scramble to regroup, but, by Grace
alone, each occasion has also been a real blessing, enjoyed by all of those in
attendance.

    Last
evening was no exception!

  After
hearing, early in the afternoon, that our guest Speaker was down with the flu,
things degenerated further when news came that a key committee member was also
unwell. Fortunately her sister was able to email us the PowerPoint slides for
the evening, we borrowed another member’s sister’s laptop and the evening
slowly came together.

    Eleven
people gathered, instead of the anticipated sixteen but, afterwards, as a group of
us washed the dishes, one of the girls commented on what a special evening it
had been, music to my ears! And, as people were putting on their coats I was handed three completed Team Applications. Hallelujah! (oops! it’s still
Lent!)

    It
is always a special evening when the Eucharist is celebrated, right in
my living room and with a group of young people, each of whom holds a unique
place in my heart. Josiah had chosen some lovely Lenten songs, the group who
had joined us straight from their “30-hour Famine”, shared some special insights
gained through that experience, Linda Faith celebrated with great depth of
feeling; it was truly a Holy Communion.

   So
the time spent this morning, with the Children @St. Stephen’s made a delightful
segue. We sat on the dining room floor and these little ones shared their
thoughts on what prayer is, and on how and where we can pray. Malachi (age 7) earnestly
explained “if you are at school you can talk to God in your head”, a pretty
brilliant reminder of how “present” God can be, wherever and whatever our
circumstances.

 With
the help of Mike and John, each child then made a personal Prayer Journal and,
as the sermon discussion moved into a time of Intercessions, our little group drew Prayer Pictures, before rejoining the rest of the
community for Communion.

This Lenten weekend has truly been stitched
together with prayer and, as the Senior Youth Camp Bible Study takes over the
living room this evening, it seems that the thread remains very
central, especially as we dive into the week preceding Holy Week and Easter.