Although there was little time to come up
for air after yesterday’s funeral and reception it was somehow fitting that
today should be the monthly All Ages Gathering and that my mind and energies
were whirled around in a totally different direction.
      Before 730am today I had first a call from
Malaysia to talk about the events of yesterday with prayer partner John William
and second a call from Cousin Ron, all about his abundant apple crop in Kent
UK.
       But then it was the usual mad dash to hurry
through chores and give Wil his long walk in order to be standing at the door
when Nick arrived at 9am to drive me to church.
      I was thankful for the ride since it is a
rainy cool day and soon we were at St. Stephen’s House and I was laying out
clay and play dough and hanging up the Noah’s Ark quiz board and generally
rushing around to prepare for the Gathering.
      Most of us are very familiar with the story of
Noah so we tried hard to really shake things up and to provide a fresh take on
the Scripture. Everyone did such a great job of their parts that I do hope the
congregation went home feeling the Gathering had brought them fresh insights
into this well known passage.
     Norman was such a brick to dress up as Noah.
He told the story in such an interesting way that people of all ages were truly
engaged. Fred played great music and Terry even played the spoons for a rousing
rendition of “Arky Arky”!!
  Candace kept things on track and had sourced
some lovely artwork of the Ark, which set the tone for each element of the
Service.
     The toddlers enjoyed creating play dough
animals while the older children and adults created theirs’ out of air-drying
clay.
       Our excellent quizmaster, Steve had prepared
a bunch of tricky “true and false” questions that certainly challenged the two
teams! And Jenna had crafted a thoughtful Litany focusing on God’s Promise of
“Never Again.”

       It was quirky and thoughtful by turns and my
prayer for this Gathering was that we might keep God’s promise in our hearts
fortifying us for all that we encounter during the week ahead (of course I
expect many of us will also be humming “Arky, Arky” too as it is a pretty
catchy tune!!)