Yesterday was a day of celebrations.
in the morning i led a service for the Boys' Brigade here. Each year the local battalion gathers at one of the churches to join in a service, and to be together for a time of sung worship and celebration. The nearby URC church hosted us, and 130+ people from the Brigade joined with the usual congregation of 25 or so - it looked like a coup!
We had a fun hour together, reflecting a little on how God has been using the Brigade as a tool for discipleship in the lives of young men, before considering what we might all do as we wait for the appearance of Christ again (this being the time between Easter and Ascension, then Pentecost - a great season to think about waiting).
I had fun, folks enjoyed it, and people went away thinking about how they might grasp God's passion for them and the world, God's power to live in a way that is distinctively that of a Christ-follower, and to know and be God's presence in thier own homes, workplaces, schools, colleges and neighbourhoods.
In the afternoon the celebratins intensified. As little while ago we had a number of offers of organisations wanting to come and do something with us, it reminded me a lot of the Festival of the Nations I'd organised during the Baptist World Alliance centenary congress in Birmingham. So we invited them all to come on the same afternoon / evening in order for us to celebrate the (limited-but-there) diversity in our church family.
We began with a performance from the African KidZing Choir Project from South Africa. A vibrant, moving, humbling and joyful explosion of colour, song, movement and life.
We had a good crowd of all ages (from 11 weeks old to very senior citizens) who seemed to enjoy themselves, and they also enjoyed the tasy international snacks we were generously given by folk from Friends International. I particularly enjoyed the tilapi fish, cooked to an african recipe, a reminder of good times eating together in Mount Pleasant.
After a chance to sample some wonderful fruit drinks from Fruto del Espiritu we settled down to hear from the wonderful singer-songwriter Gareth Davies-Jones.
In between the two sets, which were drawn largely from Gareth's latest CD Water & Light, we heard about the vision and purpose behind Fruto del Espiritu. I commend them to you, and urge you to consider how you might partner with them in helping columbian farmers out of the trap of growing coca leaves for the drugs lords and into growing healthy produce all year round that would provide them a better life.
A long day, but one that left a good taste in the mouth in more ways than one!