last night at grace was the first communion by numbers. when people arrived they were given a drink and stood chatting in the waiting area. then we all went through and sat down at tables. at each table were 9 numbered envelopes. every time a bell rings the table open an envelope and follows the instructions. the envelopes sort of followed the basic liturgical structure of the communion service. it worked brilliantly - we set people off and they were away - no leadership required... the envelopes went something like...
1. introduce yourselves, slips of paper with questions to ask each other
2. iconic candle making kit with a night light, strip of acetate with the last supper image on and two paper clips. give thanks for things that have happened this week.
3. text a confession on your mobile phone to the number prefacing it with the word confess (an absolution with the words you are forgiven is triggered by the keyword confess)- thanks to jason djang for the inspiration for this who had IM confession recently that he told us about, which i'll blog about separately when i get round to it.
4. read story of thomas - share stories of doubt and surprise
5. peace - toast glasses proposing a toast of affirmation to someone round the table
6. share what you are thankful for about jesus. share what you want to remember about jesus. use images of christ enclosed to spark discussion
7. share bread and wine round the table after listening to the prayer. a bottle of wine and bread were already in place on each table (duncan wandered around doing bill's prayer).
8. invite the group to share concerns for prayer - take one of the night lights and light it for each prayer
9. go and collect a plate of hot towels (the kind you get after a curry - we got some from a warehouse locally!) - say a blessing and use the towel
the texting confession was brilliant! the absolutions didn't come until later during the sharing of bread and wine - coincidence or divine intervention?!
the hot towels was another great idea...
i'm sure this will become a grace regular service. it could have as many takes as you like...
some photos are in the gracelondon flickr group