The elephant bouncy castle was a great hit.... and not just with the young folk!
Our music director who is passionate about elephants enjoyed her turn on the "exercise machine"! It really does stretch muscles that you didn't realise existed.
The young folk were enthusiastic about the bouncy castle, but I suspect that they appreciated the little paddling pool nearly as much! It even had wee ducks and bath toys for them to play with - and it didn't take long until they discovered that they could be used as water pistols!
We're not talking young children here... we have a bunch of teenagers who find fun wherever they are.
Today has been a glorious sunny day and the second annual Pentecost picnic - started last year - is now a fixed event on the United Churches calendar. Presbyterians, Methodists and Church of Ireland (Anglican) gather for a short liturgy followed by fellowship around the tables.
It is a great joy to see folk having a good time doing something so simple and traditional as a picnic. Most of us have reached the stage where sitting on a picnic rug is rather difficult for any length of time so the tables and chairs were a welcome feature!
We are so fortunate in the grounds that we have and, if the weather had been poor then the halls are right there for our use. Many city churches just don't have that luxury these days.
It has been a good Pentecost in Saint Nicholas', I think. You should have heard the anthem... wow! I loved it. I meant to record it but totally forgot - hopefully we can have it again.
We celebrated the "Birthday of the Christian Church" at the morning service where we had cake and big red balloons. There was a point - the fire of the Spirit that cannot be extinguished (relighting candles) and the breath of God that gives life to the lifeless. We ended up thinking about the gift of languages and how we can tell the Christian story today in a language that people around us will understand.
It was good to see many staying for refreshments (and cake) after the service when the atmosphere was very relaxed and joyful. Somebody did suggest that we should have cake every week!! Black Forest Gateaux and two ordinary cakes - one coffee and one plain.
So with mind buzzing and feet throbbing it is probably time to "call it a day", have a long soak in a bubble bath and go to bed early!
Lord of the Church, we pray for our renewing:
Christ over all, our undivided aim.
Fire of the Spirit, burn for our enduing,
wind of the Spirit, fan the living flame!
We turn to Christ amid our fear and failing,
the will that lacks the courage to be free,
the weary labours, all but unavailing,
to bring us nearer what a church should be.
Church Hymnal number 303
by Timothy Dudley-Smith
Tune: Londonderry Air.