that first early morning …

We had a great morning celebrating the risen Christ on the short of the Thames this morning. A few of us gathered, said some words, sang a song, threw our confessions, via a pebble, into the river, discussed and wondered what it was like that first resurrection morning, shared bread and wine before concluding with barbecued bacon rolls and bubbly to mark the end and start of our resurrection celebration.

i always love this service, not just because it is different and people really enjoy the experience … but because it brings a number of different people together who then share thought and ideas and questions as the sun rises on a cold morning. There were some amazing discussions this morning which I felt it a privilege to be able to play some small part in.

Today we touched a little on how it may have felt for those first disciples and tried to out ourselves in their shows … and in some way that brought Christ risen in our lives afresh.

Thank you people for joining us.

wash out? ….

So the Great Hot Cross Bun giveaway was a bit of  wash out this morning.
It wasn’t a disaster … there are never really disasters when offering something to the community … and we had some great conversations. It helped raise the profile of HTGP a little …. but much more importantly it brought a smile to many faces on a pretty crappy wet cold day.

IMG_0343

 

But wet weather … meaning less people out … meant we still had around half of our 100 hot cross buns left … after giving some away I wondered what else I could do … bread and butter pudding anyone ….

 

 

Good Friday Hot Cross Bun Giveaway

hot cross 2018Another Easter tradition for Holy Trinity Greenwich Peninsula.
We believe the reason we are here, as church, is to be good news to people, to bless people, to add flavour to the community ….. so most of the HT people are fairly heavily involved in community events, the residents association, the local schools and so on.

We regularly ask ‘how can we bless this community?’ and one way, on Good Friday, is that we give away Hot Cross buns to people that are around in the GMV.

We will be in the village square tomorrow from 11.30 for an hour if you’d like a Hot Cross Bun …. maybe see you there!

Broken Disturb

BrokenTonight we watched the last of the Lent series on Broken at Agapai. This has been one of the grittiest, real, challenging, anger inducing, tear rolling, deep discussion promoting Lent series I have ever been involved in.

A lot of this comes down to the power of the program, the skills of Paula Gooder as the writer; but the majority reason for why this has been a positive Lent course is down to the commitment of each member of the group in finding the time in incredibly busy lives  to watch the episode for an hour and then be willing to make themselves vulnerable in contributing and/or answering questions.

Tonight we chatted about how we had found the series … gritty, challenging, anger inducing … are all words that came to us as we sat around the table and shared food. I believe it has driven home to each of us, more as a reminder than a lesson, that as people of faith we can;’t help but be involved in our lives, in our communities and in our worlds. We also acknowledged that sometimes a ‘Christian response’ was not unique or obvious … as we considered hard hitting questions of how we would react, or the lengths we might go to, try and combat the effects of extreme poverty in our lives.

I have really valued getting together with this group of great, and not always agreeing, people …. we’ve had great discussions and ourselves. The series notes ended with this prayer attributed ti Francis Drake. It resonated with every one of us.

Disturb us, Lord, when
We are too well pleased with ourselves,
When our dreams have come true
Because we have dreamed too little,
When we arrived safely
Because we sailed too close to the shore.

Disturb us, Lord, when
With the abundance of things we possess
We have lost our thirst
For the waters of life;
Having fallen in love with life,
We have ceased to dream of eternity
And in our efforts to build a new earth,
We have allowed our vision
Of the new Heaven to dim.

Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly,
To venture on wider seas
Where storms will show your mastery;
Where losing sight of land,
We shall find the stars.
We ask You to push back
The horizons of our hopes;
And to push into the future
In strength, courage, hope, and love.

Amen to that!

 

nothing is different but everything changes

sunrise 2018 jpgWe have developed a kind of tradition at Holy Trinity Greenwich Peninsula for Easter morning. For the last three years a few of us (sometimes 5, sometimes 20) have gathered just before sunrise around a BBQ on the shore of the Thames on the peninsula.

As we have experienced the sunrise, showing itself through the blurry faces coming into focus, through the welcoming warmth of the sun on our faces, through unfamiliar surroundings becoming familiar again … we have tried to enter into the confusion and awe that made up that first Easter morning.

We chat together after hearing Mary’s account of the empty tomb … we wonder how they felt, we wonder what they thought might be happening … and as we wonder we re-remember how amazing the truth of Easter Day actually is.

We share communion, Eucharist, bread and wine (take your pick!) and again wonder IMG_1645what it may have been like for those disciples sharing this simple ceremony together. As we share, we talk and recognise that in these ordinary everyday items of bread and wine that we hold before us that something different is happening. Nothing is obviously different, but everything has changed.

We end the service with BBQ and bubbly … it’s a celebration after all … and we go home … changed … as we have encountered God once again in the simplicity of life.

So if you are in the area and wish to celebrate the risen Christ in a unique way …. why not consider joining us.

imagine what is was like for Mary …

mary-icon-1461514928In HTGP we are looking at Advent in an even more contemplative way than we do normally.

Rather than listen to homilies as we normally do, this season we have decided to replace the homily with a short guided meditation which is attempting to help us put ourselves in the story, though a variety of characters, and ask ourselves some relevant questions.

Last week we took the character of Mary … the mediation is shared below ….
You can hear the audio version here.

Mary

Can you imagine

for a little while

what it was like for Mary?

A young woman.

A faithful woman.

A person going about her normal everyday business, not harming others, being helpful, being ‘good’ … whatever good looks like!

God called her ‘favoured one.’

Did you realise …

God calls you the same …. does that description fit you?

What description would you use …. tell God that description ….. what is God’s response to you?

Can you imagine that day for Mary?

She was clearing the cellar, singing away to herself when it happened.

An angel … bright as could be was suddenly there

Blinding

Scarey

from nowhere

I wonder how she felt?

How would you have felt?

Would you have stayed …. or run ….

Would you have listened ….. or frozen in fear

And that message

you will be carrying The King of the universe

Awesome ….. or scary?

But of course

Jesus lives in our hearts

so essentially

we are all pregnant with Jesus

What effect does that have on us?

on our normal everyday matter of fact life?

Maybe, like Mary, you feel to unimportant to carry Jesus

Maybe, like Mary, you think you are too young

Maybe, like Mary, you fear no one will believe you

But …. Jesus lives in you … and me … and all of us

Whether we recognise Jesus or not

He is here

As we sit and stare at Jesus

and Jesus at us

listen to what Jesus is saying  ……

(pause)

What does the son of God say to you tonight?

 

gpcu pt 6: prayer & pastry

prayer and pastryOne of the first things I started after arriving at HTGP was Prayer and Pastry on a Friday morning. I think it is really important that a community has opportunities to come together to pray.

Prayer & Pastry is an opportunity for anyone that wants to to start their day in prayer and grab a sort of breakfast before launching themselves in to the day ahead.

Sometimes we use standard morning prayer from from Common Worship, while other times we replace some of the service of morning prayer with an examen type meditation.

Being able to check in with each other before getting on with the day is always good … particularly while consuming great (not just good … but GREAT Monmouth or Has Bean coffee and a pastry of some description).

So … Friday mornings … 8am …. maybe see you sometime?