We have now trialled the Dekhomai stall at three boot fairs. There have been some interesting reflections as we have sought to become part of this community.
First, it seems that many people like to see us there. This seems to still be the case even if they are not particularly interested in what we offering. We have had one or two people that have loudly said things like ‘I don’t do Jesus’ …. but in the main people seem pleased to see us there.
We have had a number of interesting conversations. It seems that people want to share their stories with us. Some people want to share their struggles while other seem to ‘test the water’ by seeing what comments we will make to stuff they have shared.
This week we had around half a dozen people come back to take a Psalm reading. They said something like, ‘can I take another one of these, because last week it really helped me.’ (for clarification we have around 12 verses from psalms printed on coloured card and weighed down by a stone, printed side down. We ask people to take the card they either like the colour of or the stone. The person then turns the card over to reveal the Psalm reading, which we read with the person, talk and offer to pray). Knowing that people are coming to take words of the Bible away to be sued for the week is pretty amazing! (I can hear some vicars wishing their congregations would do that!)
An amazing reflection is that through this simple, seemingly random, act God is powerfully talking to people. We have had tears and joy as people have read words which have cut to the centre of their current experience. Yesterday one person did a Psalm reading with one member of the team and then a Jesus Deck reading with another …. and the message was the same! This was a message of hope and new beginnings. Coincidence, or God?
At the Sweeps festival and MBS fairs hand massage and prayer beads have been a real hit. So far this is not the case at the boot fair. Here it seems that Jesus Deck and Psalm Readings is where it is at. We need to think on that as we consider what to offer as time goes on. If people are more interested in the experiential stuff, maybe we should be looking at what else we can offer thats meets this need.
Another reflection is that this is not for everybody. Actually, it is not for the majority …. but for some, maybe only a few percent, this is already starting to have an impact. We already have people coming to search us out … after only 3 weeks!
So … what are we thinking for the future. We are thinking we will continue this for the rest of the boot fair season, which ends on 8th September. We are short of team members, but ok, on some of those Sundays …. so if you think you might like to join this team why not get in touch about receiving some training and getting involved.
Another idea from the team that grabs me is to hold a short communion service. I am wondering on the context of this and how we can stay ‘legal Anglican’ as well as be contextual for a boot fair. It should be easy but I am not sure that it is. But … it’s an exciting thing to be thinking on. It’s something i believe we need to try in some format.
So … that’s our reflections on boots so far…. shiny boots! (did you see what I did there?)