In December the Rejoice! service took place at Lindridge Parish Hall. Adults and children alike were welcomed into three groups to take part in an activity related to the wonderful story of Christ’s birth. One activity took as its focus the journey of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem to register in the census. They worked together on an imaginary map as preparation for this journey. The second activity focussed on the gifts suitable to give to a new baby. Each child in the group made a gift and wrapped it to give to the baby Jesus later in the service. The three Kings took gifts when they visited Jesus. The third activity drew on the story of the shepherds; the first people to hear about the birth of Jesus from the angels. In this activity we dressed up as shepherds and told stories about our task; keeping the sheep safe from harm and constantly finding good pasture for them.
As the activities came to an end we were all called to follow the trail laid out across the hall. Once we had negotiated all the obstacles there, we found the track leading us outside to visit the baby in the manger. Once back inside we gathered together to listen to the Christmas story being told. Each group contributed to this story telling, at the appropriate place in the tale, with their group activity. This really enhanced the telling and brought the story to life for us all.
Following our singing together we were invited to light a candle and pray for our concerns at this time of Christmas. This quiet and reflective time was very moving as more and more candles were lit. We all recognise that this is not necessarily a time of celebration for everyone so we prayed for peace for all people. The closing activity was a treasure hunt for edible treasure which the children very generously shared with everyone there. We closed with a blessing from Louise before enjoying seasonal refreshments.
Janet and Keith Nesbitt