Sunday, October 6, 2013
Last week I went to two Harvest Festival services on Sunday. They were absolutely lovely, but I’m pretty sure that I gained a few pounds from the potlucks. Mmmm… I love potlucks! At each potluck, they had British foods like cauliflower in a cheese sauce, beans and toast, and chili (I’m not sure about the authenticity of that one). They also had desserts. I couldn’t try the desserts, or “pudding” as they put it, but I did enjoy looking at them and seeing the joy on others’ faces as they partook.
If I haven’t mentioned, I live a wheat-free and sugar-free lifestyle. Really tough when the British know how to make puddin’. Oh, how they know how to make puddin’. 🙂
The delight of that Sunday was meeting an older couple who I’ll call W. and B. They’re in their nineties and told me that this was their third time coming to our church in Nuneaton. Their church had to close and since they couldn’t drive, our Community of Christ Church was the closest. They care so much for others and for each other. As they let me converse with them, they shared their lives with me. They even told me about how they met.
Back in World War II, B. was a much younger version of herself. She was removed from her parents’ home in eastern England and sent by train to western England. She has lived in the area ever since. W., on the other hand, was a soldier in the war who (the way I understood it) sent telegrams and at some point, helped hoist “refugees” into the train cars when they needed to move to the western side of the country. Guess where they met?: at a Methodist church.
They only had kind things to say to each other and when their story was told, they said how happy they are with each other. They said that they “are one”.
I asked if they had any advice for my generation. They said that they, themselves, live their lives together. They do almost everything together and it builds their relationship and causes them to, again, become one. They also said that they each let the other person be themselves. They have no, or at least minimal expectations of each other and just appreciate the other person for who they are, all the while letting them be. I thought that their take on a relationship was beautiful. It gave me hope that maybe it might be possible to have a loving and caring relationship centered on God. Oh, they also said that they involved God in their relationship… I missed that bit!
This last week, our current host family, and wonderful friends, made us yorkshire pudding. “Mmmm!!” is all I have to say. They even used gluten-free flour so that I could eat it. It meant so much to me that they would go that extra step. Needless to say, I asked for the recipe and then remade it myself. Success! When using the gluten-free flour, it gets a slight custard texture in the center that is to die for! Maybe I’ll have to post the recipe…
Today was the first service that I helped plan and lead. Sally [my World Service Corps partner), a young man named Dan, and I planned the service together. What good fun! They shared their thoughts on themes and how to lay out the service. It was a learning experience for me and one that I value.
The service went well, I think. We each divied up everything so that the congregation wasn’t hearing just one person. At one point, I played one of my favorite songs that you won’t find on the web called “Beautiful Person”. It’s fabulous and meaningful.
“God made us all with a part of Him. Search for Him in your mind. Remembering always that he loves you, what are you trying to find? I’m really a beautiful person. I’ve found that I’m really okay. And now that I’ve finally found God, I’ll go on feeling this way.”
God is so good. Soooo good. He blessed us today with a gorgeous, warm, sunny day. He put each of us in each others’ lives. He made food taste so heavenly (potentially). He gave us choices. He demonstrates His love every day. He… [The list could go on and on.]
Jesus said in John 14:15-20:
“15 If you love me, you will obey what I command”16 And I will ask the Father and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever–“17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.”18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”19 Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live.”20 On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.”