Grace - fresh vital worship since 1993

July 1998: Life

1. intro - words about bringing senses & culture into worship [mike] - light candles

2. three personal stories of people's experience of God in their lives - one through bad times [steve], one through good times, one in the everyday.

3. exploration of jesus' humanity - blank postcards with things people do in life written on them - laugh/cry/get angry/road rage/have favorites/get drunk etc. get people into small groups, hand random bunches of these cards out and ask people to discuss whether they think jesus ever did any of them. some cards will have a bible reference on the back if it exists, others will simply ask the question 'do you think jesus did/felt this?'

4. meditation [one recently written by dave] on the pleasures & pains of human life & the presence of God in all these leading into a time of reflection on our own lives

5. more blank postcards handed out - people asked to imagine the course/pattern of their lives so far as colours, drawn with paints/crayons etc on the postcards. when people have drawn the colours of their lives they are invited to pin them up on a board at the front so we can see the communal pattern of colours. [steve will donate his huge collection of coloured pencils to help this]

6. then people invited to come up and take & eat two elements, one bitter, one sweet, to symbolise their acceptance of the presence of the two in our lives and of all that God sends [dave][music - 'bittersweet symphony' the verve]

7. leading into closing prayers from team re God is always with us in the good times [when we forget him] and in the bad times to share the suffering and sustain us [not sending the bad times but using them for good if he can]

we feel that there should be people available to talk/pray afterwards with anybody for whom this service might summon up difficult feelings [the pattern of my life is all bad/God has sent bad things/where is God in all this etc] - if needs be we might try and get the presence of one or two trained counsellors just in case.

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