Tonight was the first Gathering of the church – quite a nerve-wracking experience (for Alec, especially), but in the end extremely positive. There were eight of us there and the atmosphere was nicely relaxed.
Grace had been working all day on home-made cookies and brownies, as well as making a couple of display boards, and Alec had finally got round to writing his sermon and printing off materials for the display boards.
Elmo and Anna had travelled from Todmorden, David from Sheffield, Rachel and Ricardo from Stocksbridge and Lizzie from Bamford; which makes a total of 200 miles in round-trips.
Alec pretty much led the evening, but it was very informal. After sorting coffees and teas and introducing ourselves we talked about the project – including, quite rightly, issues like “why ‘church’?” Then we moved on to Alec’s sermon. The text of this is going to be put up in a separate post, so I won’t go into detail about it here. At the end we listened to the song “Build A Levee” by Natalie Merchant. After this there was a really lively discussion, centering round issues like “can you teach virtue?” and “are people naturally good?”.
Everyone agreed at the end that we definitely want to do this again. Watch this space for details, but what do you think? Mid November sometime?