Now here’s a question: What do a teddy bear tombola, jewellery, different types of gin and quilting have in common? Answer; St George’s Arts and Crafts Fair of course!
By the time you read this, we may be looking forward to the Fair or it may have happened (September 22nd), but whichever it is, thank you for all your support. The Arts and Crafts Fair is deliberately timed to coincide with Harvest Festival time. That’s because harvest is a time of celebrating all that has grown and giving thanks for it, and crafting is a celebration of human creativity too, using our skills to make, recycle and enjoy. It is interesting when we see a random collection of activities coming together to be bigger than the sum of their parts. When we share an activity, its often the unplanned sharing which makes it all the more creative – the conversations or observations we never imagined having.
But autumn is also the time when we remember, and this year Remembrance is especially poignant, being one hundred years after the end of the Great War. There will be a special concert at St George’s on November 10th by the New Cambridge Singers performing Durufle’s Requiem; (reserve tickets via email@example.com)
I’ve been reflecting upon the human ability to create alongside our ability to destroy; we hold the two in tension. For some, history is a steady progression of improvement whilst for others history is a balanced cycle, good deeds counterbalancing the bad. The Great War was a shock to those who believed in humanity’s ability to shape for good our destiny and as for balancing good and bad, I wonder how many beautifully made handicrafts it takes to counteract the dead of the first World War. I don’t mean to be glib, but this isn’t about balancing good and bad. When bad things happen, they leave us stunned and we yearn for the goodness that we feel has been lost. After the Great War they said simply it should never happen again; and they were correct. But happen again it did.
When Jesus walked around Galilee and beyond, he did have a plan which involved going to Jerusalem, but this was no more an unbending plan than it was idle wanderings. He met all sorts of people, quite deliberately, told them about God and those people realised that they shared much more in common than they thought. They also realised that Jesus spoke directly into their life; their personal experience of life with the choices, good and bad, which life presents. The Christian Gospel derives its strength from its unceasing relevance; that what Jesus said remains as true today as ever it was. So, the good stuff, the creating, the unexpected sharing, the harvest if you like, is good because we partner God’s creative force in the world and the bad stuff? Well, we need His help with that. These days it’s hip and trendy to explore new ways of doing church – several such activities happen at St George’s for which I make no apology. But perhaps it is an ancient prayer we need now; “Our hearts are restless until they find their rest in you. Amen”.