This weekend the nation celebrates 60 years reign of Queen Elizabeth II. We will all find different ways to do it, but at Wesley Ebenezer Methodist Church, a multi-site church with two congregations in Walkley & Crookes, Sheffield we did so by sharing food with the local community, building and strengthening links between the churches and folk in the surrounding streets.
On Saturday morning a group of us from the Methodist and Anglican congregations in Walkley set up a stall on the main street and gave away cups of tea, coffee and squash to anyone who wanted one, as well as cakes and biscuits. Some very good conversations were had with old and new friends, and quite a number of people were surprised and delighted that someone was giving stuff for free, with no strings attached. It was good to meet them away from church buildings and share something of God's love with them in a practical way.
On Sunday, after our usual meeting for worship, we gathered in the Church hall at Wesley Hall, Crookes to share lunch with the local people. We had hoped that this would be a barbecue in the church car park, but the weather was not kind to us in that respect, so we had to eat indoors. We still barbecued outside, under a tent! About 100 people came and shared with us, and all those who came were given a copy of a commemorative edition of the New Testament. Again, a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate God's love.
It has been wonderful to be able to share with our communities in this way, and I hope that we will be able to do something similar again soon.