Pastoral Letter: w/e 12th December 2020

Dear Friend from Bridport United Church, Uploders Methodist Church or Hope & Radipole United Reformed Churches,

Some weeks ago at the Meeting of the Wessex Synod on Zoom, one of the Children and Youth Development Officers (the URC is good at making Job Titles that are almost as long as a Job Description!!) described an exciting resource that was being prompted nationally.  Titled ‘Hope and Joy’ packs they consist of red cardboard boxes A4-sized and about 1 inch thick containing six envelopes and a number of craft resources (coloured pencils, a gold felt tip pen etc.)  The idea was that we should distribute them to families in any of our children-orientated groups and then each week during Advent they would open the envelope for that week and carry out the craft ideas as well as engaging with the nativity story that unfolds there too. 

Well, having distributed them to as many Messy Church families as I could (leaving Peter Jenner to deal with twice the number for similar groups based with the United Church Dorchester), I found I still had one pack left over.

I’ve had some fun in the last couple of weeks using my newfound skills in video-making to film myself making some of the crafts in the envelopes - posting the videos on both Bridport’s Messy Church Facebook Group and the United Church Dorchester website.  Anyone who know me will understand that this was a daring and strange thing as craft-making is not really my skill!  I do my best at Messy Church and indeed enjoy doing it.  But the truth is I am just putting together the pre-prepared items produced by the clever members of the Messy Church Team.

Starting from instructions that are not quite step by step and don't have all the resources is a challenge and a half for someone who is craftalogically-challenged!  

Nevertheless I have to say, firstly that I have rather enjoyed it all and secondly have discovered I am not quite as rubbish as I had thought I would be!  Yes I know that I did make a right mess up of the model Virgin Mary and the Angel, using the spare template to make them twice as wide as they should have been, but after it was pointed out where I was going wrong, I am quite chuffed with the results.  As I type this, I have a little collection of the first two weeks-worth of craftwork building up on the back of my study door and providing a rather nice backdrop to my Zoom meetings and services.

It’s a nice lesson that, in the midst of all this strangeness and difference, there are opportunities to do things that are outside our comfort zone … and maybe even enjoy them?

Well maybe anyway!

With love and prayers for you,

Every blessing from your Minister,

Rev'd Peter Clark
URC Minister of the Bridport & Dorchester Joint Pastorate