Zion URC - Northallerton

part of the Tees Swale Mission Partnership

Taste and See!

Zion family…You are invited to a lunch and short special afternoon following the theme of that morning’s service on Sunday 8th September…Forgiveness.

’ ‘How could they do this to me; to one I love?’ or ‘I can’t imagine how I behaved like that.’ Or ‘Maybe I can forgive, but how can I ever forget.’

In the glorious contexts of The Secret Garden, and comfortable cottage there is an opportunity to safely explore this complex and frequently painful issue in our Christian lives.  None of us is alone in the struggle to make sense of some of these scars which we bear, of being hurt by others, or indeed those of having hurt others unwittingly ourselves. We will each carry these stories in our hearts.

You can’t simply forget something which has shattered your life. In our society today we are used to a ‘quick fix’ and instant communication, but our inner lives grow more slowly. Like a seed we may guard ourselves with a hard shell which needs time, nurture, warmth and organic material to release us to new life, freedom and growth. That is just one of the images of our Secret Garden which may help us as we consider the movements of grace and will in response to God’s love. And there are more…

Stepping- stones, compost, clay, bird song, humus (humility), harvest even! Hmm. I hope that makes you curious!

It is an opportunity to experience a period of silence (with the possibility of speaking to another if you would find that helpful) in a confidential and nurturing time and place. We will begin after the usual coffee and chat, at 12.00 as we gather in the garden (or church hall if weather inclement) for an introductory talk. At 12.30 we will quietly settle after the busy morning and then enjoy a Bring and Share silent lunch at 1.00, followed by an hour and a half of quiet reflection and exploring resources offered, finishing with a short closing act of worship at 3.00pm. 

This idea of the service theme ‘joined up’ into a quiet afternoon has been prompted by the set lectionary readings for the day of God the Potter and his shaping of us, (Jeremiah 18: 1-11) and from Luke 14: 1-14 involving arguments about who sits next to whom in the hierarchy of the table of importance!

We look forward to welcoming you. The event has been prepared in time, love and prayer.

Maybe a new and risky venture, but it reminds me of the Leunig quote, ‘If you see anything mysterious or unusual, just explore it while you can!’

For more information please ask Ann, Lesley, Liz, Alexa or Gill Causley. Or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Ann Bowes.

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Serving the communities in Tees and Swale.