Today was my second Sunday at KHR Grangemouth. I was delivering the children’s talk and today was also communion. So, before I comment on both, I also want to note that I also spent a lot of time blethering over tea afterwards. They’re a very friendly lot at KHR and it’s great how welcoming they’ve been. My big problem is keeping track of names. So, if anyone has any tried and trusted name-remembering techniques, I’m all ears.
Anyway, on to my observations for the day.
The children’s talk went well (I thought) but then it helps when you’ve got a very responsive group of young people. It especially helps when they don’t get stumped when the stock answers of ‘God’, ‘Jesus’ and ‘the Bible’ aren’t the expected answers. I got a lot of very perceptive answers which showed that they understood my questions and were giving it some thought. My theme was ‘meeting’ since that was the first time I had properly met any of them. We moved on to ways of meeting God and that tied nicely into the idea of communion being of particular importance as a way of meeting God. Someone noted that I didn’t use any sort of script while I was speaking. I think with a children’s talk I like to know where I’m starting and know where I’m aiming for. Everything else in between is pretty much up for grabs because you just don’t know what sort of response you’ll get. The knack is to guide any apparently tangential comment back on course (and know when to give up when it just isn’t working).
Communion was pretty much to formula but with one aspect that I do think merits looking at. In KHR, like a number of churches I have been in, the elders who will be distributing the elements get served first. Then the rest of the congregation is served. I quite like having the elders served after the congregation. One church I was in used a particular formulation of words that, paraphrased heavily, said, “We have tasted, it is good, now you can have some.” It wasn’t intentionally ‘elitist’ but that’s how it struck me at the time. That has stuck with me and perhaps now I’m a little over-sensitive to the impressions given during communion. One communion service I did like was one where the bread was distributed and everyone ate as they received it but when the wine was distributed, it was kept until everyone had some. Then everyone took it together. I enjoyed the more ‘communal’ feel to that approach. That said, it obviously wouldn’t work where a common cup was used. I’m also going down to the evening communion service which, I’m told, is different, so I’ll add another entry later about that.