THE JOY AND BEAUTY OF FLOWERS|
"Bright Lights is intergenerational worship where experiences can be shared and connections between young and old celebrated. No one is too young or too old to take part and feel welcome. We hope you enjoy your experience of doing church differently. "
York Unitarians celebrated The Joy and Beauty of Flowers with a Bright Lights Intergenerational service on the last Sunday of April, and did indeed enjoy doing church differently. The service was led by Rev. Margaret Kirk and Claire Wilton, who completed the REVolution (religious education) course in 2011.
Opening with an action chant, which the children had learnt -
Morning has come Night is away Rise with the sun And welcome the day and followed with a prayer "A circle of free souls" adapted from one by Rev. Cliff Reed, and the story of Persephone and the return of spring told by Margaret Kirk.
While the musician played the piano the congregation - adults and children made multicoloured paper flowers.
The children had made flowers previously at a Sparklers' children's programme earlier in the month, and showed the adults how to make them and add a stem. Then we added a leaves and wrote spring messages on them and attached them to the branches of a tree. Here are some of the messages.
Spring has now unwrapped the flowers
Love all, serve all
May we all feel Spring born in our hearts
I hope all the flowers in my garden smell nice
May we have a "little more" sunshine!!!
For Persephone, pomegranates and the hopeful return of all daughters
For 'her' success and for calmness
May this earth have many more springs
We are waiting for you!
I hope we have a summer this year!
I hope these flowers attract the bees. I like to hear buzz in the garden
Spirit of life, light and love, may this winter of greed, cruelty end and may the spring of justice, compassion and brother/sisterhood come to this world, so be it.
There was a buzz around the chapel with a hive of activities making the flowers and leaves, decorating the branches and conversation until everyone had made a flower.
Then back to the pews for the song
I've got a spring, spring, spring in my toes
I'm skipping/hopping/jumping/ running along, singing a song
I've got a spring in my toes
(From Out of the Ark Ltd.),
while the children did the actions in the chancel space.
Another story - Frog and Toad in Springtime (by Arthur Lobel) read by Claire Wilton - Frog and Toad live in the Chapel and are old favourites with the children and the adults.
The service ended with the popular spring hymn by Rev. Lena Baxter (Cockcroft)
Bring flowers to our altar
and with words of Theodore Parker
Be ours a religion which, like sunshine, goes everywhere.