Oh how lovely!
I'm just home from the morning's worship...No idea how the homily went at 8.00, because there's never much sermon feed-back from any of the congregations here, but the 10.00 United Benefice Communion had a really great feel to it.
Inevitably, there's a tendency for some of the congregation from the non-host church to feel that a United Benefice Sunday is the perfect opportunity for a day off and as schools return this week there were a couple of regulars making the most of the last gasp of "summer"....but nonetheless, with more than 60 communicants things were happily busy at Church in the Valley. I was specially thrilled that we had seven people from Church on the Hill worshipping with us (pretty much a third of their regular congregation in that small community), and the tasks of ministry, - reading, assisting with the chalice, taking the offertory, were shared by both congregations. Add to the mix a great sermon on the "lure of the easy way" from my colleague, a beautifully behaved Guide-dog puppy lying peacefully at his mum's feet in the choir stalls, two visiting grandchildren acting as acolytes and my cup pretty well overflowed.
Our opening hymn was
"God is here, as we his people meet to offer praise and prayer"
and that felt wonderfully true right through our worship.
These are my people.
This is where God calls me to be.
What a pleasure!
Have I ever told you how much I love my job?