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Archive for July, 2011

Recently we have started a new way of praying in our Junior Church. I was fresh back from Bible By the Beach, and the fantastic youth and children’s work that went on there. And from there we have snaffled an idea which helps our youngsters to think of something to pray for, and that encourages them to pray for a variety of things. Our secret: sweeties!

Every week the leader goes armed with a packet of Skittles (M&Ms or Smarties would work too). They go in a bowl and at our prayer time each child takes a sweetie. Then they say a prayer triggered by the colour of the sweet. Depending on the colour selection, you can make up your own code. Ours is as follows:

  • Red – a sorry prayer
  • Purple – prayer for the sick
  • Green – prayer for the world
  • Orange – a thank you prayer
  • Yellow – prayer for the church
  • Blue (when we have the special packet) – anything you like!

This would work for any small group – even grown ups who want a different way to pray. And good for families too – our kids love it!

 

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We had some excitement in the parish today – a ‘suspicious package’ was found in a house just round the corner that was being raided for drugs. Residents in houses close to the raided property were evacuated, and we were asked if we could accommodate them in the church hall.

So we were there with the teapots and some biscuits, on and off all morning, whilst we all speculated about what was happening. I quite enjoyed myself – particularly because I met a couple of neighbours that we’d not previously had the chance to speak to. It was a bit of a pain for them, though – one friend was without her diabetic medication, another lady had her two young children with her, but not their toys, people needed to get their cars to get to work. Most folk took the opportunity to go shopping in town but returned later to hang around and chat at the end of the street or pop into the hall for more refreshments.

Finally, after about 31/2 hours, we were told that people could go home. I stayed behind in the hall to tidy up and the local PCSO and his Sergeant came and chatted. Turns out the suspicious package wasn’t Semtex, as had been suspected, but something to do with with preparation of drugs. They seized cannabis wraps from the property and made three arrests. More drug dealing – the house next door to that one was raided a few weeks ago and seizures made for the same thing. I reckon you could probably raid a couple of houses on every street in this parish and find evidence of drug use or dealing.

The police were quite cheery, as these arrests were made on top of two successful operations locally earlier this week. A house just opposite the church was raided and found to contain a stolen motorbike and 27 stolen bicycles. And only last night they carried out some checks with immigration officials. They found illegal immigrants, but also some dodgy vehicles that were being stripped down, including a vintage Rolls and a BMW that had been nicked from Police HQ.

So a good week for clamping down on crime – well done to our local coppers. It does make you wonder what’s happening behind closed doors when the police aren’t calling. And makes us pray for this broken parish all the more.

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