One of the things I loved about our physical service was the opportunity to sit on the floor and wonder about the Bible together. I’d tell the story, and wonder aloud, and gradually people of all ages would chip in. And together we’d ponder grace and forgiveness and what loving our enemies really means; we’d wonder about similar stories and, perhaps, how they’re turned upside down by this one; we’d recall times in our own lives when the story had become real; we’d wonder if God was calling us to anything now.
The size of our congregation and the limitations of conversing via Zoom – where interruptions and awkward silences kill conversation, we cannot read body language, and children struggle to engage – mean that this sort of wondering is not currently happening among us. And that is a sad thing. However, it is also an opportunity. Our children have always needed more than the Sunday service can give: and so this is the perfect time for adults to facilitate faith conversations around the dinner table or in the car.
You don’t need my help to do this! However, some of you have told me you struggle for conversation starters. This is why I put together Cartalk : Tabletalk, which are conversation starters based on the lectionary reading. They are going up here on the website most Mondays, and refer back to the reading heard at church the night before.
A few people have given them a go, and they tell me their conversations have ranged from five minutes to an evening. One family ended up spending two hours talking about showing hospitality to strangers: so much more time, and so much more generative, than a Sunday service! No doubt their children will be remembering this night and what grows out of it for years to come. You can find all Cartalk : Tabletalk posts here; obviously, adapt the content to meet your household’s needs.
In other news, I’m heading off on leave until Monday 20 June. I’ve pre-set a couple of Cartalk : Tabletalks to pop up while I’m away; otherwise, things will be pretty quiet here on the website until I’m back.
Cartalk / Tabletalk
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