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Curate's Corner - April 2017

Curate’s Corner  April 2017

One of things a curate is expected to do during their training is to lead a Lent Group. Don’t tell anyone at the Diocese, but this year I decided not to lead the Diocesan Lent Course but instead to try something a little bit different! (Don’t worry, we did also run the Diocesan Course too!)

The course I led was all about the idea of embracing the Sabbath as a daily discipline. We were encouraged to explore ideas of Sabbath as something more than simply a twenty-four hour period at the beginning of a new week. To help us do this, the course suggested a number of weird and wonderful activities like engaging with our five main senses and making a list of your favourite sound, view, taste, smell and physical sensation such as walking barefoot on wet sand or stroking a dog.

The penultimate session was all about re-connecting with our inner child! We explored ways of approaching life in a childlike manner, attempting to see our lives through the prism of child’s sense of awe and wonder. We even spent time playing games like pick up sticks, cards, dominoes, snakes and ladders and ‘Ker-Plunk’ – a gravity defying game using sticks and marbles! All this to the accompaniment of Queen’s ‘Don’t stop me now!’

Not your average Lent Course! But one that contained many valuable lessons about how we are to be in relationship with a creative God and living within creation itself. It wasn’t for no reason that Jesus called a child and put him among the disciples when they were asking questions about the kingdom of heaven.

I don’t know if Lent courses are supposed to be fun, but I really enjoyed it to be honest. I think there’s a lot to be said for re-connecting with our sense of play and living lives that are more playful. Why not have a go at playing a game you used to enjoy? Perhaps dust off that pack of cards and invite a friend round for a game of Gin Rummy!

One of the most valuable things that came out of the course though was the reinforcement of the idea of God, not as some stern dictator pontificating from on high, but as a playful, child-like creator whose limits to surprise us and re-create us are boundless. That sounds much more like the sort of God I want to be in relationship with than many images of God I’ve come across!

Fr Mitch