Gateways, the new community gathering in Caldecote, had its ‘launch’ get-together on Sunday 13 December. We laughed and laughed, and then there were baked potatoes for tea!
The cardboard box stable proved trickier to get up than expected despite Michael’s engineering style bracing pieces.
However, it was ready in time for the mini scratch nativity which involved almost everyone, mostly as shepherds or angels (tea-towels or tinsel), exploring the invitation of the angels and the welcome of the shepherds at the manger. (With thanks to Mikey for being in charge of playing the Hallelujah chorus, just out of this picture!)
Not too many fingers were hammered in the making of tin can welcome lanterns.
Those who wanted a more thoughtful activity were encouraged to reflect on what it feels like to be welcomed. Our theme, in case you haven’t guessed, was ‘Being a welcoming and welcomed community’.
Two extra bonuses during our communal meal were those who gave thanks for new friends and for laughing together, and Berenice’s unprompted and beautiful explanation of Christmas celebrations in her native Mexico (did you know that traditionally presents are not exchanged until Epiphany, 6 Jan, to celebrate the arrival of the wise men?)
We ended by visiting the community Christmas tree and singing a few carols also praying (a la Away in a Manger) for those we love: ‘Be near them, Lord Jesus, I ask you to stay close by them for ever.’
A takeaway handout included things to do and think about at home on the welcome theme. You can see a copy here.
The next Gateways gathering will be on 10 January, 4.30pm in the Village Hall in Highfields, Caldecote with a ‘new year, new beginnings’ kind of theme.
More ‘technical details’ for those that would like them:
Gateways has emerged from a series of four open meetings, over the summer and autumn of 2015, of those interested in building an all age community of friends around values, spirituality and fun, together with a survey conducted at the local village fete about the things that people liked and disliked about living in Caldecote.
We have decided to meet from 4.30 to 6.15 ish on every second Sunday of the month in the village hall in Caldecote. We are supported by the Lordsbridge Anglican Team of Churches and by Hardwick Evangelical Church, and those involved come from a wide range of church types and none. There is currently a prayer-and-planning team of about 10 people who are enjoying getting to know each other and working out how to work well together.
The first part of each gathering provides a choice of activities with an emphasis being inter-generational, on doing things communally, on being active as well as reflective, and on connecting with the outdoors. Then we have tea together, family-style, all sitting around the same table.
We are, at the moment, basing our themes on a list of community values in the book ‘Making Disciples in Messy Church’ by Paul Moore p92-4.
This is definitely a work in progress. The information above is correct as of Dec 2015. However, we will learn together over the next year and no doubt things will change shape as we do.