Sunday, May 12, 2013

Recycling jewellery and other 'stuff'

Flower NecklaceAt Exclaimers today we looked at the lectionary reading from John (the last part of Jesus's prayer in Gethsemane) in which Jesus prays for unity among his followers and we thought about some of the ways in which Christians who disagree on some things still work together on others, Christian Aid being an apt example: the notices this morning included the last call to join many church members on next week's sponsored walk or the mentally strenuous challenge of the Christian Aid quiz (entries £1).

The children then set up tables with the clutter donations people had brought in (at rather shorter notice than previous times so it was somewhat smaller). £44 was raised for Christian Aid and those donations that no one bought were taken to the Communicare shop so hopefully they will still be usefully re-used for another charity that church members are very much involved in. The jewellery items, however, went into our new recycling box for Traidcraft who are also taking mobile phones (in any condition) and old/foreign currency.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Christian Aid Service

Today we were looking forward to Christian Aid week with a sermon from Jessica from their Oxford office. It was, I was told, an inspiring piece based on the lectionary reading John 5:1-9 - do we really want a world healed of poverty and hunger? Even if it will cost us? How will we be healed? The man in the Gospel thought he needed to be nearer to the pool, but when healing finally came that was not the answer. Will we be surprised by the ways forward? In carrying his mat he broke the laws of the Sabbath. What laws/traditions/habits must we break to achieve healing.

We used Christian Aid materials in the children's groups too. Abi had brought in some chicks, which of course they were all keen to stroke. The materials were about Ivana whose family were given chicks (among other things) by a Christian Aid partner to help them build a more sustainable, varied farm in their Bolivian rainforest home. The accompanying Forest Foods Forever game was a great hit with Exclaimers (despite initial requests for more sewing!).

After the service we watched a short film on the impact for farmers in Kenya of a scheme to send out localised weather forecasts by text message. Then we had a fantastic delicious (vegetarian) meal together - thank you Ali. All profits from the money raised by the meal will be going to Christian Aid.

Next week we'll be raising more funds for Christian Aid, as well as Readifood, with a clutter sale. Please bring in anything you think someone else in church might be prepared to buy to raise funds!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Food and clothes

Our Enough Food for Everyone IF banner has been up for several weeks now, with regular reminders in the notices of the forthcoming gathering in London on June 8th.
Two weeks ago at Exclaimers we were looking at the story of Dorcas and her gifts of clothing for widows and the poor. We used the Godly Play script which worked really well, but before they started on their crafts (mostly cross stitch) we talked a bit about how the clothes we choose to buy can also be a reflection of our faith, looking at fair trade clothing etc. (This was three days before the Rana Plaza building collapsed so we'll talk some more about it this Sunday I think).
It looks like there'll be a good group of us doing the sponsored walk for Christian Aid in a few weeks time, hoping the weather is still this beautiful! And in other good news - the Exclaimers' model farm made out of packaging from fairtrade products has won a hamper of fairtrade goodies which will apparently arrive in the next couple of weeks.