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Church Building at Thackley!

How would a gingerbread church with icing doors and chocolate finger organ pipes appeal? Junior Church at Thackley had been busy building such an edifice for a couple of weeks, before the part-completed church was creatively used as the basis of an inspired service, put together by worship leader, Gill Dobson.

Using the Lectionary readings and carefully chosen hymns, poems and prayers, Gill gave us a timely reminder that our churches are the people, not the building, and that we are all part of God’s Church – all our churches belong to Him – not us!

We considered how the children were building their gingerbread church on the groundwork of the Junior Church leaders and how in a similar way we were building Thackley Church, in the sense that the church is who we are and what we do. We were asked to think how we might describe Thackley - a busy church? A traditional church? An ageing church? A lively church? A tired church? A caring church?

Rev David admiring the foody sculptures….    
The Gospel reading reminded us that, when Jesus called upon his friends to follow him, he was building his Church. Those friends dropped everything - they answered his call. Jesus was working with the resources available to him. He made disciples of those around him.

At one point in the service, Gill asked us if we would like to join in with the children in building their gingerbread church – to, it has to be said, a lukewarm response. Didn’t want to commit? What would we be letting ourselves in for? Not in our skill set. We’d get sticky!

Later, we were powerfully challenged – do we have that same lukewarm response to building God’s Church? There was also encouragement – a reminder that there are different ways to join in because we all have different gifts and we’re all at different stages of our journey with Christ. But a crucial part of building Thackley – or any other church - is committed support, encouragement and prayer.

We can, and all should be, praying for the well-being of our churches and everyone in them. Praying about it is building the Church.

Eventually, everyone present did join, in some way, in building the gingerbread church – and most of us did indeed get sticky – but we were all greatly blessed!

Jackie M, Thackley

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