Page 5 - Moravian Messenger September 2018
P. 5

Christian' tee shirt, but if you do notice someone in your house, course or new job is wearing a religious symbol I recommend that you get chatting to them. They could be a fellow Christian and maybe even recommend a church to you, or they could just take their fashion inspiration from the Pope. It's worth asking the question though.
Do your research
I must say at the start that that I am a person who has to-do- lists for their to-do-lists and this may only suit certain types of people.
But doing research of local churches, for me, is a key but boring stage. You can do your searching online or simply by talking to people in your local congregation as they may have a recommendation for you of a new church. Either can turn up the goods. There is also Student Linkup ( which is run by Fusion. Fusion is a charity for Christian students and this website allows you to search an area and look up different local church profiles. The church explains what services they run, what work they do for young people and explain a bit about themselves. You can then connect with churches which means someone from the church gets in contact with you so that when you first go to a service you have someone to sit next to who is a long-time member of the church in the same age range as you. Student Linkup isn't only for students though, they have information on what churches offer for young people up to age 30. Finding a church in a new area can transform your time there so prepare however suits you best - this may be a spreadsheet or it could be having a wander round your local area on a Sunday morning.
It takes time 
This is the hardest thing about finding a new church in a new area. It's not easy. There is so much choice and because you can generally only go to one church service a week (as they have the annoying habit of often all happening at roughly the same time) it may take weeks or even months to find a church you feel at home in. But it is worth taking the time. By looking, you'll find out more clearly what it is you want in a church and this may not be the same as what you expected. A church can be a place of security, fellowship and spiritual peace amongst the craziness of moving, and that means it is worth investing the time and keeping looking for the
right one. There are a million and one churches out there and you will find the one which works for you; this doesn't mean it's perfect, but instead is somewhere you feel comfortable and can grow.
Sr Katie Biggs
I write this having recently returned from a delightful afternoon tea at our local infants' school. This was put on in our honour as thanks for the weekly “assemblies” we do under the auspices of “Open the Book”. This is a series of dramatic presentations of Bible stories we do every Tuesday morning at the infants' school assembly.
It is a fantastic privilege to be able to present Bible stories to some 200 young children, many of whom might have no other contact with the Bible. How does it work? Our church, the Hucclecote Methodist Church in Gloucester, has forged a relationship with our local infants' school. We use the material published by “Open the Book”, now under the auspices of the Bible Society, so there is no need to write or otherwise construct any of the material. There are books for Years 1, 2 and 3, which we work our way through throughout the school year. All we do is to practice each piece, and dress up accordingly: we have quite a “wardrobe” section now, (but some groups prefer not to dress up). Each presentation takes about ten minutes. The stories are so written that if there are not sufficient actors, the whole thing can be read by a single person. We have about eight in our group, although most stories are written for between two and six actors, with an Opener and Closer, and Narrator. There are many opportunities for volunteers from the children, and Wardrobes has made up a number of children's costumes.
We are so fortunate in working with appreciative and co- operative school staff, who have even obtained the Open the Book text books in order to help prepare their lessons to complement our presentations.
Do the children enjoy it? As a prelude to the afternoon tea we were presented with three volumes, one for each year, of messages written by the children, who unanimously claim that they love it, especially when they can volunteer to join in. (I had no idea there were so many different spellings for Jesus and Bible!)
And do we enjoy it? Who could fail to enjoy such an opportunity to spread the Gospel and in such a fun way, and among such an appreciative and impressionable audience?
Outreach? Think about it, get together and talk to your local school. If you don't have enough people who feel able to do this, why not do it jointly with another church? We also support another group working in a different school, with members drawn from the local Methodist, URC, Anglican and Catholic
churches. Br Ted Wilson Gloucester
Open the Book
© Elaine Keasley

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