Grace - fresh vital worship since 1993

January 2008: Visits

january 2008 grace flyer

For the first Grace of 2008 we explored the visit of the Magi, concluded our thoughts on hospitality, and welcomed visitor Cathy Ross who shared her wisdom on hospitality as creating space. Cathy is from New Zealand, and heads up the CMS Crowther Mission Education Centre in Oxford.

Order of service:

1. Welcome/intro

2. Opening prayer

3. Song:

In the east (on the album spirit of the new)

4. Cathy Ross talk

followed by discussion

5. Confession

focussed on Walled Nativity from Amos Trust in centre of church

6. Music

'Backbone' track No place like home with Bethlehem video by Adam Cleaveland

7. Stations:

invite people to go round in groups of three

each station needs printed instructions

7.1 Gold - best of our selves/lives as gift

[chocolate coins in bowl]

gold represents the offering of our wealth to god
what is your wealth?
what is your greatest possession?

share with your companions
what you think and why
then together offer your wealth to god in prayer
and eat a chocolate coin

7.2 Frankincense - giving to God in worship

Worship of God through his names, using Isiah 9:6 as a focus people were asked to write down their names for God. These included:

Friend; Lord of Everything; Comforter; Peace Maker; Life Giving God; Benevolent Protector; The way things should be ; Giver of Peace; Him Upstairs; Father – Calmer of Souls; An abstraction of all that is good; Yahweh; Reconciler; You; God; God of Everyone; Always Constant; Helper; The Main Man; Boss; Father my Father; Peace Bringer; Keeper; Friend!!; Lord God Servant of All; Lord of All; Divine Creator; Servant-who-is-ruler; Almighty Servant; Lord Everlasting; My Saviour and my Friend; Source of my comfort, source of my unrest; Love; Time Giver; Loving Father; Light; Tatal Norstru!; Creator; Din Ceruri; Friend/ Listner/ Father; Creator of atoms and Galaxies – Total Symmetry; Prince of Peace – Lord your are bigger than I; Creator God, Listening God, Still God, Stable God, Wild God;

Then it was suggested that people made an offering of incense in burner in front of high altar.

7.3 Myrrh - bad/sad things in our lives offered to God:

[dead leaves in a bucket - slips of paper with bible quotes are hidden in the leaves]
a fragrant resin
burnt at funerals
an ingredient of embalming fluid.
conceals the smell of putrefaction and death.

also used as balm for the sick
an agent of healing and wholeness.

Jesus received the gift of myrrh as a sign of his death.
Also as a sign of healing and new life.
life and death
death and new life
crucifixion and resurrection
inextricably linked.

sometimes we need to face death in order to find life.

rummage through the bucket of dead leaves until you find words of life.
read them with your fellow travellers.
reflect together:
how can you find new life in the midst of death?
what might need to put to death in you, so that you can find new life?

8. Blessing

9. Café

we had about 20 students join us from calvin college in the USA and they put together the montage below which subsequently won an award on yotube...


<< swipe left


Cathy Ross talks about hospitality.

A 'walled nativity' from Bethlehem, showing the Separation Wall that now prevents the Magi from getting to the manger.

Photo © Jonny Baker

Photo © Richard Baker

The 'Gold' station. Chocolate coins in the bowl. Photo © Richard Baker

Photo © Richard Baker

Photo © Richard Baker

The 'Gold' station.

The cameraman's footage is in the movie above.


Frankincense. Photo © Richard Baker

The 'Frankincense' station.

Myrrh. Dead leaves in a bucket. Bible quotes are hidden in the leaves. Photo © Richard Baker

The cameraman films everything.

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