and I don't mean nut clusters... or maybe I do, hearing the amount of laughter and glorious silliness at the meeting we had yesterday!
For those of you reading this who are not aware of Baptist structures, about 30 years ago, churches were encouraged to link up with other Baptist churches in their area for support and encouragement.
When I lived 'up north', there were three churches in our cluster but one was a large inner-city church, one a small sea-side church and the third a rural farming chapel. Apart from being Baptist we had nothing in common.
However, here in Wales we have the 'Rural Churches' consisting of eight small churches and chapels all around the English/Welsh border; some are in villages while others seem to be in the middle of nowhere but all are struggling. Two have full-time ministers, one a part-time minister and there is also a lay pastor both who regularly preach at the chapels without ministers. But one of the main reasons it works is because in this area of farms you will often find relatives marrying someone from a different chapel! and it seems to be quite a static community with farms being passed on down the generations.
Over the years we have been meeting four times a year where there is plenty of time for conversation catching up with friends, eating, worshipping and praying together. But this year we also held a study group looking at small churches and many folk come to our Services of Prayer for Healing.
Yesterday we had a Prayer Lunch; we used to have a Prayer Breakfast but it meant a very early start for those who prepared the meal! In early summer we have a Praise evening, in late summer we hold a barbecue and in December we have an Advent Service. And this morning we had the pleasure of Joy, the Lay Pastor take our service.