The Flower Festival
The Prayer Tent
Last week was far too hot to do any blogging - I just didn't have the energy to think creatively and write wittily. In the church we have welcomed our new curate, Linda, ordained deacon at Southwark Cathedral, we have had a wonderful Flower Festival all weekend, and on Saturday we had a Prayer Tent on the field for the Old Coulsdon Village Fair. The idea was to take prayer out of the church building and show that God is concerned for people wherever or whoever they are. We prayed with people about members of their families who were ill, and with one person about an unpleasant spiritual 'presence' in her house. I've never met anyone who has not wantied to be prayed for. Even if they don't believe, at least they think it can't do any harm.
Nearby was a tent with the local 'spiritual healing' group. This is not a Christian group and their approach to healing is about finding the power within yourself to heal. I had a long conversation with one of their members a year or so ago, and I don't know if anyone has actually been healed by their efforts. I wondered whether we should have a sort of 'Elijah versus the prophets of Baal' competition to see whose prayers were more effective, but thought better of it. For one thing I think the health and safety officers would not have appreciated fire from heaven coming down and consuming people: that wasn't in the risk assessment document!
Cream teas in the church
Two bible readings set for yesterday, from Mark 6 and Luke 10, were accounts of Jesus sending his disciples out with his authority to proclaim the kingdom of God, through personal contact, through prayer for people, through healing and preaching. In a small way I hope we were doing the same with the Prayer Tent.