Hymns and Ham

Easter poster photographed in Cyprus
IN the description of me on my blog home page you may have spotted I describe myself as Christian. I don't bang on about my faith too much in my posts but being Christian is more than just a label for me - it's a way of life.

For my family this means that most Sundays sees us doing something Church related. We often spend time on other days doing something church-related but that could be anything from strimming grass to sitting round a campfire drinking maybe just a little too much while the children re-enact Lord of the Flies around us.
But back to Sundays.

On Sunday we started the day fairly normally for us. Cuppa in bed to try and dull the hangover.
Bit of screeching at kids to get ready for church. Bit more screeching about the suitability of swimming trunks/Buzz Lightyear costume/ankle snapper trousers for church.

I'd just like to clarify something. During our service we say every Sunday "this is our faith". It is my faith and I never force churchgoing on any of my children. To be fair most of them do come with us, especially to Worship for All (a fairly informal service held monthly)  and are very at home in the building! (a bit too at home sometimes and I cringe when I see them hurdling pews or resting on the altar step for a post-service chat with their mates) But no-one is forced to go.

Anyway this week was WFA - service went quite smoothly apart from Grumpy announcing near the end that he wanted to go home because church was boring. He would be very impressed if our church emulated another I heard of that uses Ipads instead of service sheets. But would probably be distracted by the joys of Subway Surfers.

We sang some nice hymns, including a clappy one. We are happy and we occasionally clap but other than that we are pretty straightforward middle of the road C of E-ers.
Another cuppa and biscuits and doughnuts and a chat with friends after the service where we agreed to meet at another church - part of our team parish - for a walk and tea which had been organised.

Halfway up the hill on this walk I began to wish I had never agreed to it. After a chilly, dull start the sun came out and it was baking hot. We felt less like a gang of churchgoers on a nice Sunday stroll and more like Biblical types on a pilgrimage across the desert.
The kids romped ahead of us, largely oblivious to the heat and humidity. Apart from Grumpy of course who wanted his hat and T-shirt off and seemed to be disinterested in my prepared lecture about UV rays. And stared balefully at the dogs' water and accusingly at his mother who had forgotten the children's drinks.

Thankfully it was only a short stroll and back in the slightly cooler church after a short service ( very short service!) we did what church people do best and sorted out tea and sandwiches, crisps and cake.
I appreciate that church to some people is a haven - a place to be still and calm. But yesterday our church was full of chatting adults, hurtling happy children and a variety of dogs.

I know it's not everyone's cup of tea and I really don't want to start a debate about the pros and cons of organised faith. I just had such a lovely day I wanted to share it as a Magic Moment - because yesterday I had loads of them! Here are just a few;

The view at the top of the hill after a hot walk.
My home church
Happy active kids waving at cars from a bridge
Laughter with friends
An awesome slice of lemon drizzle cake with an equally awesome cup of tea.
A good ole singsong with some of my favourite hymns
The sight of Grumpy getting his hands ready to clap.
Dogs in pews
DS#3 marching along with his invention - a hat-carrying knobbly stick which he wore like a milk yoke with a variety of hats dangling on the branches sticking out. (sadly didn't get a photo!)
Amazing piles of ham sandwiches with lots of butter on squishy soft bread- always taste better when someone else makes them!
A post walk invite for drinks with good friends - calm and cool in the garden after a long hot day.

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