Sunday, June 01, 2008

Sharing our common life

We had a lovely agape following the morning service at Sarka Valley Community Church. I think with adaptation, the model would work back home. So we'll probably try it.

It was a church lunch that began and ended with a communion liturgy - breaking bread at the start and sharing a common cup at the end. It was really cool to share wine with people you were laughing and chatting with and dropping the words of institution into the conversation as the cup reached us.

We also sang three great songs - all influenced by Iona's John Bell in some way - this morning. Again, these are works that will make their way back home.

Here's a flavour of one of them (an excellent communion hymn):

As once you served a waiting crowd
when someone shared their bread
so still, through freely offered life,
your hungry world is fed

For, having planted seed corn deep
in every human heart,
there, quickened by affirming grace,
your kingdom's work can start

The final verse says:

Then break me with the hands of grace
that living, I may prove
a generous bread of kingdom life,
of healing, peace and love.

(words by Pat Bennett/music by John Bell)

There were lots of goodbyes to say today as many of the students who've lived here for the last year are heading home. Many tears were shed and email addresses exchanged, a sign that deep relationships form over an academic year; students were valedicted and sent back to their churches to fulfil the ministries that God has prepared them for over the past year.

We also welcomed a group from Baylor University in Texas who are here for a few days as part of a six week tour of europe.

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