Aoradh Pentecost bonfire, 2013…

Jar of peace

We have just spent a lovely afternoon at our annual Pentecost Bonfire out at Ardentinny beach.

Every year we gather to mark the birthday of church, sharing food then some worship. Today Michaela and Pauline had planned a series of activities around the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5.) The Spirit sent as our helper, our guide- a kind of warmth in the middle of us…

For Love, we used footprints, signifying a step towards the other

For Joy, we used a canvas splashed with exuberant colours

For Peace, we sat in silence listening to the gentle waves, then opened a jar to scoop it all in, and put the lid on

For Patience, we found ourselves a stick to signify sticking with someone or something

For Kindness, we took a smoothed pebble to signify being smoothed and shaped by one another

For Goodness, we passed round a bag of tasks- things that would help us see the good in others

For Faithfulness, we remembered that we had long term committments to one another, and so we wrote on our pebbles the words from Ruth- “Your God is my God”, and passed the pebbles to another

For Gentleness, we reminded ourselves that we did not need to force our way in life, and spent 5 mins walking alone

For Self control, we reminded ourselves that we needed to direct our energies wisely, and so we wrote on ribb0ns, which we intended to fly from the tail of a kite, but the wind was light so, we just decided to take them home.

It was lovely.

We do not usually use music outdoors – there is so much music in the waves after all – but this time Michaela used her little Mp3 dock to play songs- and the simplicity of music, companionship, the beach and an open fire (even with fickle eye stinging smoke) made for a time of deep peace.

All church services should be like this…


'Church@ gathers

Andrew upside down



Pentecost bonfire tomorrow…

So- we remember the beginning of church, through the inspiration of the Spirit of God coming to live in and through us.

If you are local- come and join Aoradh for our Pentecost beach bonfire- Sunday, 3.30 on Ardentinny beach. Bring something to throw on a BBQ, but more importantly- bring yourself!

I saw this clip today- and it hit me with what a wonderful thing the church is- full of hope and good things…

And on a day when Archbish Williams got himself in to some controversy by making some political statements (well done Rowan I say!) here he is speaking about Pentecost-


Aoradh pentecost beach bonfire…

We are just back from Ardentinny beach, where we met to celebrate Pentecost, using a barbecue and a bonfire. The sun shone, the kids swam in the sea, and there were NO MIDGES!

After all the eating, we sat around the bonfire and celebrated the birthday of the church, and presence of the Holy Spirit. We used this prayer to give shape to our activities-

The bonfire was surrounded with concentric rings scratched in the sand.

Come Holy Spirit

Come Spirit like rain, refresh, renew, revitalise.

Come Spirit like fire, embolden, enlighten, enable.

Come Spirit like a mighty wind, move, challenge, enkindle.

Come Spirit like wave, move, tear down, lift up.

Come Spirit, come Breath, draw us close, make song, bring intimacy.

Come Spirit, come Love, make one, make justice, make peace.

Come Spirit, come Kingdom, come Love.

Martin Brown/CAFOD

We took each sentence, and used it as a prompt for an activity- after each activity we added symbols onto the circle.

RAIN- we made rain shakers, and mister sprays squirted over each persons head. We then added cocktail umbrellas to the circle.

FIRE- we threw handfuls of sugar onto the fire, which flared up, and then lit candles and placed them on a circle.

WIND- we made paper windmills and placed them in the circle.

WAVE- we did a mexican wave, and imaged the moving of stones up a beach- adding a stone to the circle.

BREATH- we spoke of the closeness of breath, then took streamers on sticks, and added them to the circle.

LOVE- we added painted stones in the shape of love hearts to the circle (and collected them later to carry away with us.)

KINGDOM- we took a roll of gold foil, and wrapped it around the whole group as a crown- and a sign of being the agents of the Kingdom of God. We then stepped outside the foil as a sign of going outwards.

Then we closed by reading the prayer out loud.

And it was simple, and lovely, and soul-good.