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News from Bovingdon Baptist Church

140 years of loving & serving God

A 'One Table' Church

When my family comes over at Christmas our dining table looks rather inadequate. Parents, brothers, spouses and children - there is just not enough space for everyone to be seated for dinner. So, several years ago, we decided we needed two tables. One table was large enough for all the adults to sit around, and the other was just about big enough for the children to share. We had a 'two-table' Christmas dinner. But I've been wondering - what do we miss out on when the extended family is split up for that time? What stories don't get told, or jokes made between the generations?! What about the sense of family, of community, at the time of celebration? Do we all miss out when we're not sitting together?

Earlier this year, we had a church lunch together with Chipperfield Baptist Church to raise money for the work of TEARfund. At that lunch my two girls sat alongside adults, sharing news, listening, enjoying being together. Although there are times when it is helpful and appropriate for adults and children to do their separate activities, or learn with peers, there are also many times when it's better that we sit around the same table, sharing in the same conversations. Children and young people are not only the church of tomorrow, they are not just the church's future: they are very much part of the church of today. And that goes beyond conversation at the meal table. Our worship, teaching and prayer should be accessible for anyone and everyone, with participation from all ages.

What do people need most in life? It's not having a role or a job: the most basic need is a desire to be loved and accepted. Church should be like a family of families - clusters of families (of whatever shape and form) meeting up as a bigger tribe or 'spiritual family'. We want to work towards this 'One-Table' model of church - having dedicated spaces for specific age groups to learn together, but also creating shared spaces (formal and informal) to be family and learn from one another.

Our separate spaces...

We are pleased to announce that work on our Upper Room is very nearly finished and it has become a great space for our young people to meet in. So we can
now cater for every child from toddler to teens every Sunday. The normal format is that the children join in with the first 20 minutes of whole church worship. They then have a Sunday Club to enjoy and explore God's Word together, while the adults go deeper with the biblical theme in their own way.

From September 2014 we have these groups:

       A crèche - there is an adult to look after your child, but you are welcome to stay with them. Alternatively, we're happy for you to remain in the service with your baby (we are 'family', and families are by nature noisy).

       A group for those of primary school age (plus a 17 year old with special needs).

       Once a month, on the 4th Sunday, there is a special group for school Years 5 & 6 (age 10 & 11) called Jesus' Jammie Dodgers. They meet in the crèche room.

      A group for secondary school aged young people, which meets weekly in the Upper Room (God's Gummi Bears).

      We also have a new youth group, every term-time Friday 5 - 7 pm.

But in the midst of our hard work, we don't want to lose sight of being a 'One Table' church... So on every 3rd Sunday of the month, at either 10 am (summer) or 3 pm (winter) we have a special service called Chill Out @ BBC. At this we come together as one tribe to do craft, God-stuff, story-telling, eat, worship and have fun. It doesn't matter what your age is or whether you come alone or with family; our aim is to create a space where everyone belongs and learns from each other. In addition, in the school holidays, we'll often have an open house where all are welcome, and evenings at the chapel where families can relax and play together.

Rev Mary Moody, Minister                      

01442 831756


 

 

 

 




Mary Moody


Rev Mary Moody, Minister


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