I grew up in a very loving family. A safe place. A fun place. I was fortunate enough to have both parents, an older sister and a younger brother. As those of you who attend the Hope Hub or the #Gathering will know, my childhood was a happy one ...if a little strange. My sister and I loved playing games which would inevitably lead us to play characters who smoked (of course!?) But... what was at hand to substitute a cigarette in our bedroom...why a Parker cartridge of course!! I've spent many a happy hour enjoying a Parker cartridge cigarette with my sister...ah, happy days!
Growing up and starting my own family I have been that tired, I'll admit it, that I have sat and watched a whole episode of something on CBeebies only noticing afterwards that there wasn't a preschooler in the room...or indeed, in the house! (If you are a parent you will understand this!)
My in-laws are lovely too. They have always accepted me for me and taken me in to the heart of their family.
Sometimes it's good to spend time with your closest family members - perhaps your siblings or your parents. And other times it's good to see your siblings and parents together - in the same room. Other times, an occasion will mean your siblings, parents and in-laws all get together with a few friends thrown in too!
This is very much how our Gathered Communities work at Hope Whitby. The Gathered Communities consist of all the strands of the family coming together to celebrate and we have a real cause for celebration! We do this element because we follow the example of Jesus, who through His life, preached to many people who were gathered together at one time in one place. It is really important for the whole body (that's everyone in the family) to come together. To worship God, to listen to direction and vision, and to catch up with those we don't see all that often because we are in different Grow or Ground groups.
At the Hope Hub music meets life story meets cake. It's always a fun filled Friday night.
The #Gathering sees great coffee and comfy chairs catch up with great word and worship.
Alive is the closest to a 'normal' charismatic church service that Hope Whitby do...followed, of course, by cake!
Family Fun is fun, food, faith and family!
And, just in case you are wondering....no, I won't be smoking a Parker cartridge at any of these gatherings...I promise! ;)
"We see it taking shape day after day - a holy temple built by God, all of us built into it, a temple in which God is quite at home."
Ephesians 2:22 The Message.
Look out for my next blog soon all about how Hope Whitby do our Go groups!