Church on the ball

We met at the bandstand this morning and our focal point was a football. It is world cup final day – talk about being connected!

We opened with some lovely liturgy form

We gather this morning in the name of the creator,

who creates time and space,

galaxies stars and planets,

In the name of Jesus Christ , born on planet Earth,

and in the name of the Spirit who fills Earth with his presence,

Creator God

in this time we call “now”

and in this space we call “here”

we worship you.

Make your presence felt amongst us.

We were asked to think about the links between the Christian Faith and football.

Adapted from

“While the World Cup promotes temporary glory, believers need to remember there is more to life than earthly rewards. Parallels can be drawn between the rules of football and the rules of life:”

What is your one/main/Golden Goal of life for our planet?

The planet is represented by this ball – (hence the football focal point!)

How do we play the game?

In our lives is God the coach, referee, manager, top scorer, defender, does he give red cards?

In Third Space do we have Players – Spectators… supporters…

The game of life might be 90 minutes – 90 years…  Extra time… sending off… Penalties…?

In our daily lives we need to be competitive without being aggressive; to be patriotic, without being partisan/sectarian; to strive to win without being unfair…

Do we have team spirit in Third Space, do we have rules, balls, referee, coach?

How do we play – Playing for fun…   Joy… Goals… Prizes…  Heaven…?

It’s not winning but playing the game fairly that matters

Our world needs healing and reconciliation: healing should come about when we meet Christ.

After reading from Ephesians 2 – the passage where Paul talks about Jews and Gentiles being united because of the death of Christ we were asked to pray for areas of conflict in the world. Particularly remembering the situation in the Middle East where Jews and Gentiles are anything but united.

Praying for areas of conflict and for those we know who are in need we gathered our thoughts and prayers as we gathered sticks from around and about the bandstand. We then took our prayers and played Pooh sticks in the river. Dropping our sticks in the river up stream and watching them flow down stream in a symbolic way showing us that God had taken our prayer requests to Himself.

We returned to the bandstand to join together in our emerging creed, written by Grayden not long after we started meeting as Third Space church.

We are a people who …

Have found Jesus to be beyond compare,

Invite all to join us without insisting they become like us,

Find more reality in searching and questioning  than in certainty and absolutes,

Realise that how we treat others is the greatest test and expression of what we believe.

Firmly believe in the equality of men and women, that no-one is greater than another and that all people bear God’s image.

Recognise that following Jesus is costly and we need to support each other in the work we feel called to do: being peacemakers, striving for justice, befriending the lonely, healing the sick, serving the hungry and destitute, visiting the sick and elderly, inspiring children and young people, caring for God’s creation………

In sharing bread and wine together look back to remember Jesus death and resurrection and look forward to God’s feast for all peoples.

The morning ended in a competitive mode, a competition devised by “map man”. It involved a map of the park, some orienteering and questions whose answers were countries of the world. There was a prize. A very large bar of chocolate (Fairtrade of course).

Who won the prize? Following a tie break question we did the only thing possible – we shared it!