this was part of last night's grace exploring the theme of gift. the next grace is also on the theme and we have film, storytelling and discussion evenings through lent on it as well. the service outline is (probably with a few bits to be added) here. but it sort of went like this...
the space looked great with a huge pile of gifts, an enormous cat's cradle type installation with gifts tangled in it and a table at the far end. babette's feast was silently playing on the screen, a parable for the night.
sit and talk about gifts and experiences good and bad. then take a label and write on it what the real meaning was behind a gift and tie it to the pile of gifts. this was really good - some really good meanings and some scary ones!
then on to the installation exploring the idea of gifts with ties that bind positively or negatively. find a gift and trace it to an envelope which is the tie/string attached! mine was this message above...
give your gift to someone else without the tie...
then cut the strings down (adam scissorhands?)
gather round the table and reflect on how god gives and how we respond. the response was to pour rice until overflowing into peoples hands and then they could leave some grains as a token of relationship with god. relationship not obligation... i was doing this bit and we read psalm 50 that i then rewrote/improvised for grace as follows:
I have no complaint about your sacrifices -
you certainly put the creative effort in to your worship.
But I do not need your art installations, stations, movie loops, ambient tunes, apple macs, ipods
gas masks, photography, font selection, stories, good taste, creative liturgies and new technologies.
All the silicon in the valley is mine
I know all the art in the whole world
The creation is my gallery
I made imagination!
Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God
out of friendship and not obligation
That's what it's about...
then finally a blessing having reflected on gifts we have that are for giving on behalf of the community before the usual cafe which had an abundance of danes, wine and cakes!
the photos i took are in a slideset gift and there will be more no doubt in the gracelondon flickr pool.
the inspiration for the service was lewis hyde's book the gift and for me, sigur ros' film heima which we will be watching in lent.
i have made this whole thing a worship trick - it was all so good! no 56 in series 3...