“A DAY FULL OF SURPRISES”
It looked as though our luck, or our blessings, had run out. The two previous Fun Afternoons had enjoyed good weather, but this time the day at Willow Tree Centre started gloomily and those setting up in the morning got wet. Then, miraculously, at opening time, out came the sun!
It greeted over 200 happy people of all ages representing three churches: St Giles’, Ickenham URC and St Mary’s Harefield. This was St Mary’s first experience of sharing an outside event with the Ickenham churches and they really entered into the spirit of the occasion. They joined the committee, helped with every activity and provided their own exuberant band and youth choir.
As Bernie said, “It was a day full of surprises and so many activities that there wasn’t time to experience them all. It’s great to see people from the three churches enjoying themselves together, particularly as lots of youngsters were involved”.
The organisers had rounded up enough willing helpers to lay on over a dozen events, and a splendid barbecue. The wellie throwing proved as popular as ever with course record-breaking throws in each of the four categories. A constant queue for the archery proved its success and the assault course was also well populated. So too were the football, parachute game, Frisbee golf, the police crime bus, orienteering and more. Mickey the naughty monkey misbehaved but then he’s only a puppet – one of several supplied and operated by the Smith family.
And so came the food, preceded by Adrian’s grace. Then followed an enthusiastic rendering of ‘Lord of the Dance’, ably led by Holly Blackman. After a closing prayer and blessing everyone began looking forward to our next Willow Tree event.
FROM ST GILES’ CLERGY
Getting the right balance between activity and relaxation is so important. Even if you didn’t get away over the summer, I hope August was at least an opportunity to slow down. Now that autumn has arrived and everything has started up again, I have been reflecting on the need for a daily and weekly rhythm that balances activity and rest. For many people today, rest is achieved either as famine or feast, and after a fortnight of unintentional fasting from rest, I am finding that the benefit of the feast over the summer is wearing off!
As I write this, we have just begun our Just10 series, taking a contemporary look at the Ten Commandments. Already I am struck by the relevance of these as God’s good guidelines for great living. Take for example the issue of a rhythm of rest in our lives; God gave us ‘Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy’. We’re looking at that one on 31st October under the title ‘Stop driving yourself crazy’!
The second weekend in September was busy for us at St Giles’, but in a positive way, with a relaxing BBQ and Fun Afternoon on Saturday, and spiritual refreshment on Sunday as we begun the Just10 series. God blessed us with good weather and a great time together at the BBQ and fresh insights into how to find true contentment on the Sunday. A story I told on that Sunday highlighted how greed for more can influence our work and rest balance: a king tells a peasant that he can have as much of his land as he can walk around in one day. So he began to walk, and kept walking through his coffee break, through lunch, through the heat of the afternoon, he kept walking through supper and gets to the end of the day and dies. How much land had he acquired?
If a greedy desire for more is futile and potentially dangerous to our health, where can we find contentment with a good work and rest balance? Jesus said, ‘I have come that they might have life in all its fullness’, and ‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest’.
DROP-IN FOR THE BEREAVED. Third Monday of each month. St Giles’ Church Hall, 2pm to 3.30pm. A friendly, informal opportunity for a chat, over a cup of tea, with other bereaved people and bereavement visitors. The next meeting is on Monday 18th October (then Monday 15th November). Just come along, or ring the Rectory (622970) if you would like to talk to someone first.