I felt incredibly blessed by the gathering last night. This was our last gathering of the year, and the theme was Advent looking towards Christmas. We held it in a different location as we wanted a bit more time and flexibility that allowed us to eat together as part of our worship.
After reminding ourselves of why we gather while lighting candles around an advent wreath we watched a little of The Nativity Story and then Tom led us in a discussion which helped us get to grips with the story as we questioned traditional thought and listened to other ideas.
In our Open Space time, which is always a time we have to allow us to engage with the story at a personal level, people were creative in making things, listening to things and writing a carol. I enjoyed the carol writing which was a pretty amazing experience which was written by three groups of people taking a verse each with a theme and part of the story after a brainstorming session. I saw things others had created which were impressive and had clearly helped people engage in thinking about advent and the coming of Christ.
After open space we broke to eat and drink together before returning to share communion, after which we sang ‘Ordinary Extraordinary’, our new gathering carol, and then blessed each other with an Advent Blessing before leaving.
The whole experience was excellent and I think in some way we entered a new phase in our lives as a developing and growing fresh expression of church. I’m looking forward to our life together as the gathering in 2012 as we explore more together. But for now …. thanks everyone for making our Advent gathering such a special time.