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Month: April 2016

A Short Essay on Friendship

Well hopefully no one will read this. And if you do, don’t tell them. But…

As I grow older I have discovered what friendship means. I thought I knew but apparently I didn’t. I can pinpoint a few key moments but in the last 36 hours things have crystallised:

Friendship is spending a couple of hours talking about the hardships you face via Skype and listening to the hardships your friend faces. And hearing. And listening. And laughing. And joking. And saying “maybe next time we Skype we could do it at 10pm with a glass of whisky?”

Friendship is sitting around a table with a takeaway and saying out loud “this is just us picking up the conversation we were having six months ago, now we’re 200 miles apart, without missing a beat”. Didn’t even skip. 

Friendship is answering the question “where do you want to go in this sprawling metropolis where all things are possible?” with “I don’t mind. I’m here to see you”. So we’re off to Mecca Bingo. My choice. Didn’t expect that did you‽ 

Friendship is a constant messenger ping coming from your pocket letting you know that “I want to go to this gig with you” or “I think that you will love this song” or “you need to say this to your bishop*” or “come and play this song on Thursday night at jam night, it’ll be a right laugh!!” Ping. Ping per per ping ping. 

Friendship is that… We are fond of the silliness. We are. Sometimes words can’t express the love that you have for a friend but “we are fond of the silliness” will let that loony know how much he means to me. Yeah. I said loony. That’s what mates do. 

Friendship is being held up to be the best person that I can be. And I fail all the time, but I have the best friends in the universe. And friendship is also seeing people you love becoming the best that they can be. Friendship is holding people up when they feel like falling down – heck, my guys hold me up to be more than I can be all of the time. 

Friendship is forming community with people whether they are in the here right now… or constrained by family commitments and the bounds of space and time. Friends are there for you. 

Geography is annoying. 

Friends are intimate connections that transcend the bounds of Google maps estimated arrival time. 

*trust me it really was nice stuff. 

Especially Prayer Dice

As we have journeyed together through lent as a community at Holy Nativity, people have been asking how we can grow as disciples.  One thing I keep being asked about is prayer.  There is a universal truth about all people who believe;  every single one of us thinks we’re rubbish at praying.  By listening to what people are asking I have been developing different ways of helping people to pray.  So during the parade service yesterday morning, we made giant prayer dice.  And this is how we did it.

Last week I went to eBay and bought 50mm wooden craft blocks.  You can buy as many or as few as you need and as we’re a small community I bought enough for everyone in the congregation.

The scouts handed them out to everyone.  As we passed them around we talked as a congregation about what prayer is.  I led the conversations and asked what we would like to pray about.  As the conversation progressed we wrote them onto the dice.
We came up with:

Friends, Family, Ourselves, Thanksgiving, Saying Sorry, The World

Then I asked about how to begin a prayer.  As a congregation we discussed names for God.
And then we talked about the word “especially”.  We talked about how if we rolled our dice and prayed “Father I pray for the world.  Especially I pray for…” it opens up into a whole conversation.  And then we discussed the importance of listening to the other side of the conversation during prayer.  What is God saying to us about those places in the world we’re praying for?  What is God saying to us about the homeless people in Halifax?  What is God saying back to us in the conversation we started with a little block of wood about our family and friends?

And that’s how we do sermons together at Holy Nativity.