Today, I have mainly been working on the All Age service for the first Sunday in November. We had a team meeting this morning and, having put my hand up for a big chunk of the service, I got a draft written up and circulated this afternoon. We follow fairly standard routes through the Church of England liturgies for most of our services but the All Age services are a chance to be a bit more creative and experimental.
For this service, we are continuing our exploration of the ‘I Am’ sayings of Jesus from John’s gospel and we’re focusing on “I am the resurrection and the life” from John 11. If you don’t want to assume people know the background, you end up with having to read most of what is already a long chapter so we’ve decided to take a different tack. Instead of the reading being an element of the service, the story (from Lazarus falling sick to Jesus calling him forth from the grave) becomes the story that I will tell and in which other members of the team will step forward to act out conversations and lead a variety of games and other activities.
Like one of those meals where you cleverly squeeze in more nutritious vegetables, the whole congregation will get an above average dose of scripture. God willing they will also feel engaged and go away with worthwhile things to think about whether they are nearer six or sixty. Spoiler alert – there is at least one ridiculous pun involved. For those who might be able to attend the service (10:30am, 7 November, Thorpe Acre church), come with a groan ready to release at the appropriate point.