Before the Covid lockdowns, we used to have afternoon meetings known as 'Stepping Stones', since returning to relative normality we have revived our 4.00pm Services on some Sundays under a new name,'Little Chapel'.
On Sunday 16th July, we held the last of these Services before the Summer break, the next one will be in September.
This Little Chapel service started like every other, with a "soft-start", as families dribbled in when they were able. All with excitement, keen to see each other and share stories of the past couple of weeks, since we last met, parents and children alike, an invaluable and soul affirming catch-up. Stories of babies born, trophies won, lost teeth, full-nights in beds, new teachers and schools. All because we are very much a family, delighting in each other's lives, together in God's House.
Our time together is organic, never the same as our time before, or governed by the week's plan, but always reflecting the 'mood' of the room, and is always joyous.
Joyousness was our theme for worship this Sunday. The God-given gift of finding happiness and joy in all that we do, and passing it on. We reflected on Ecclesiastes 3:12-13.
I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live..
The children were asked, what made them happy, and as well as those fabulously childlike responses of ice-cream, sausages, cuddles, Christmas and Bugs, a resounding joy of coming to Chapel was shared. We then asked them to share what they enjoyed about our time together at Chapel, and to tell us of anything we could improve? I've included a selection of these for you to peruse, as photos.
A resounding thumbs up was the topic of food!
Thankfully, pizza making was on the cards this week, organised, joyous chaos. No time in the end for our planned craft or singing, but time for sharing of food. All sat together, preceded by our thanksgiving prayer, the children, parents and leaders continue to chat, the ebb and flow of laughter filling our tea room. The children then run off to have a (unorganised, independent) play afterwards, whilst the adults all muck-in to clear up.
A harmony of shared belief, fellowship and joy, (all rolled up in the knowledge and understanding of how families are) before the next time we meet.
Message from a parent – Hi Emma, I hope this is of some use....
Little Chapel is a really welcoming place to come. Emma organises a wide range of activities that children of all ages can join in with. It's a great environment to gently introduce children to worship. As a parent I enjoy the fact that the sessions are always engaging but also calm and reflective. Alice and Rosie say that they enjoy playing with other children, singing and colouring. Alice would like to learn some new songs. The food always goes down a treat and all sitting and eating together makes the chapel feel like a big family.