Monday, July 22, 2019

Day Five ~ Church, Church, and more Church!

This morning started with breakfast at the host families and then a quick walk across the "car park" to St. Christopher's parish for 9:30 service. Along the lines of a contemporary service with modern music, it was a pretty familiar feel to what we are used to. A wonderful homily by Canon Betsy about Mary and Martha...which sister would you be? We met several parishioners, including Adam and his wife Ann. After tea and coffee, we moved to the parish hall and attended their second service of the day.  Called Connect -   a truly inter-generational experience which all parishioners were involved in activities. Lessons on Elijah and Elisha were taught with the message of how to handle stressful situations and coping with trigger points.  This service was led by church members, Heather and Andy. Children and adults had activities that tied into the lessons. According to Hatley, "It was nice to see how other churches form their communities and become closer together spiritually. It was cool seeing how things can be done differently." After that service we were served a lunch of jacketed potatoes, rice, curry, chili, and cookies, and were able to have conversations with more of their parishioners. Then we were off shopping. Taken to the local ASDA and M&S, which are the equivalents of our Walmart and maybe a Belk's with a grocery store. After an hour or so we headed back to drop everything off before heading to our next destination. Thirty minutes’ drive across Bradford, through beautiful villages, we came to The Eldwick Church where we were welcomed by Vicar Peter and around 20 other parishioners. Some of you may have met Vicar Peter at DIOSWVA's Convention this past January.  The Eldwich Church is a newly renovated church that is ecumenical with the Methodist Church of England. After introductions, we all enjoyed a traditional English tea of pies and peas with mint sauce, followed by desserts, cakes, and scones, during this time youth and parishioners were able to get to know each other better. The youth took a few minutes to unwind on the "play park" behind the church before Vicar Peter led us in Compline for the evening. On the way back to Holme Wood, there was a quick stop at St. James' of Tong Village, a link parish of St. Christopher's and St. Mary's. Set in a rural village just a few miles from Bradford, St. James' was a manor parish when built in 1727 and is pretty much still in the condition it was built. And although the church was built in 1727, there is evidence of a church being on this site since 1170 AD. All the youth and adults were amazed by its condition and charm. Charlie was even able to play the organ in the chapel. It was a fantastic ending to an awesome day.

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