Rambling (not only for) Kirwan Uniting Church Keep in Touch pew sheet 21 July 2019

Three things happened within a short space of time this week. I learned that a friend has been hospitalised, a wise old Anglican priest who told me when I was appointed to my first parish, “Just love ‘em” (he wasn’t so old then, obviously). That pointed me to 1 John 4 vv7 - 21 (“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God”  -  but read the whole passage). And then Leisa sent me a link to our beloved Garrison Keillor  -  http://www.garrisonkeillor.com/running-into-stan-on-sunday/  -  “To change the world, you must start out by loving it”.
Kirwan Uniting sisters and brothers, this blog is read by folk who aren’t familiar with our services, so I’m going to tell them about one of our weird (not really weird, it’s very lovely) practices.  The first Sunday (just over a year ago now) I turned up at a KUC service, after the benediction, everyone suddenly stood up in a circle and held hands. I thought, uh uh, they’re going to do the hokey cokey. But they sang, I can’t remember what it was that Sunday, it’s usually May God’s Blessing Surround You, or May The Feet of God Walk With You, or Now Unto Him, or something similar. And they were looking around at each other, smiling, giving out unmistakeable signals that they love each other.  It sounds twee, and can hint at exclusiveness  -  “We’re the KUC in crowd” , -  but isn’t meant like that.  It certainly takes visitors by surprise if they haven’t been advised at the initial welcome, or in the Notices, or before the benediction.  I’m sure that it would/will horrify introverts, and I hope we’re sensitive to that.
But I’ve grown to look forward to it. It reminds me of nothing so much as the Peace before Communion. Except this is a sign of Peace, of Love, before Morning Tea.
1 John 4 again:  :”Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another ….. if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.”

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