I realise that yesterday, not ten miles away at Sophia Gardens, there were many England (And Silent Wales) cricket fans praying for rain in order to save the draw at the first Test against Australia (like the Australians are a sporting nation? Come on - we are better at the Olympics, rugby, football & tennis; how good at sport can the Ozzies be?) but here in Ponty we were praying for sunshine because it was our Summer Celebration Weekend, and as you can see from this lunchtime photo - the Lord blessed our prayers.
We had a great day. And the team that organised everything worked really hard and did a fantastic job! Rhian and Julie & everyone - this would be an enormous post if I named everybody who contributed yesterday. The toddlers ballet class danced in church (quite spectacular) and we said our thank yous to Kirsty & prayed for her as she comes to the end of her time as Children's Worker. Kirsty is amazing; her work is wonderful; I am only glad that this was "thank you" and not "goodbye" - whoever comes to take on the role will still have her around to plunder as a font of knowledge and endless resource, though families will have to allow the new person to be the new Kirsty, as they had to allow Kirsty to be the new Naomi two years ago!
Nicky Hopwood came and spent the day with us; she will be designing & making the new stained glass window that will be part of the joining of church & hall, and her workshop was really great value - though I was mistaken about it. I told people it would not design the window; I guess we didn't draw anything, but the ideas that came from the time we spent will certainly be used. So - those who didn't come missed a chance to be a prt of the creative process in a way I wasn't expecting!
And Nicky said something, a throwaway comment, which I found surprisingly and deeply moving. She noted that one of our windows had been repaired at some point, and that clearer glass had been used for the repair than for the rest of the window. The sun had shone through it during my sermon, and at that point she had seen that it was "through broken-ness that the light shines most clearly". As I say, I found myself more stirred than I knew how to deal with at that moment by that comment.
Anyway - a great day. And of course, having granted us sunshine, the Lord also granted us the miracle of Monty Panesar facing 35 balls and not getting out. Apparently Ricky Ponting whinged all night; those Ozzies really aren't terribly good at sport - or sportsmanship, are they?