Come and experience a Church Year all within a few days!
24th-26th July 2018
Summer is nearly here and that means we are approaching Sanctum 2018! This is a fantastic retreat/gathering or sacramental alt:worshippers. If you have never been to The Community of the Resurrection, it takes place in the idyllic monastic setting of The Community of the Resurrection in the heart of the Pennines!This year we are exploring the seasons so you can expect a bit of Christmas, a bit of Easter and a bit of…. All of the seasons.What can you expect? Some new ways of engaging with worship. Every year, I find that someone introduces me to God in a new and exciting way. Some of those ways inform how we do it back in our own context – but that doesn’t mean it’s just for ordained ministers. Whether you lead worship or just want to come along and experience something different, this is for you!
The collaborative nature of Sanctum means that you can bring your own prayer station with you or get involved with acts of worship that other people are creating! If you’ve always wanted to get involved but don’t know where to start, this is a really encouraging space to do that in.
Sanctum is a great space to explore where God is leading us as creative people who find Him in the sacraments. It is a place to be inspired to experiment with new ideas in the coming years. – Participant from 2017
There are also opportunities to share throughout the week with workshops and the obligatory socialising.
And the shameless plug is that Metanoia are doing the Christmas Service with added Rock!!
Last night at the Rock Mass we were looking at the interaction between Jesus and the Woman at the Well. I know someone who works for Yorkshire Water so we had an installation of a stand pipe in the centre of church. This linked in with the use of the well known “to be known is to be loved” monologue.
For the confession we used Holy Water by Inglorious. As the God’s forgiveness was pronounced, the priest sprinkled the congregation with the holy water from underneath the standpipe. After exploring what it means for God to welcome in the outsider, the stranger and the alien, we wrote our prayers on the giant blue paper cross with chalk whilst Metanoia played Where the Street’s Have No Name.
The communion meal is a service we have held at Holy Nativity for the last three years. It is a communion service in reverse. It is a place for all ages to gather together around God’s table, to share bread and wine together, to eat together, to explore the bible together and to pray together. It is a place to participate in a family meal with the body of Christ.
The main thing to get right with the communion meal is the setting and the ambiance. The table is set for dinner with a table cloth, placemats and cutlery. We often have bible readings printed and put into plastic menu holders. We begin with the Eucharistic prayer and pass the consecrated bread and wine around the table from one to another. Then food is served. We talk about our lives and our journeys as Christians. A bible reading is shared. There is no teaching as such, more a guided conversation where people explore the scriptures in relation to the modern world, their experiences and lives.
This is the most fascinating part. Young children and pensioners and everyone in between discussing faith together. Eight year old’s asking profound questions of adults and stretching them to think. Adults learning from children and children learning from adults. The dinner table puts everyone on an even footing.
Sometimes there are other activities to do during the meal. Perhaps something that relates to the prayers. Confession and prayer often come from the discussion. Sometimes led by me, the priest. Sometimes led by others around the table. It is an environment that allows people to explore spirituality.
We’ve been holding monthly services like this for over three months. Various people who come cook food. We have had as many as forty (and the food stretched that far) but a core group of about 15. The month that we had forty we had 15 asylum seekers come along unexpectedly. The conversations across culture were fantastic as people learned from each other’s lives. A medical doctor fleeing from Iran sharing with us how he couldn’t use his medical skills in the UK and was living on next to nothing.
For three years, I’ve had people ask for the resources we use. I keep meaning to put them up here but run out of time. There is a placemat which we have laminated. It has all of the essential bits of the liturgy for people around the table. I also have a word document of the key pieces of the liturgy for the priest. I run it off a tablet but you could easily print it off.
A big thanks to Revd Jonnie Parkin who helped me think through some of the issues the Communion Meal raises. I visited the Luminous Community in Lincoln where we both started holding services like this at the same time. His wisdom enabled our community to develop a wonderful sense of community and I value his shared good practice.