The second of the two outdoor services planned for the month of August was held this morning in the garden of Manor House in Martyr Worthy, with approximately 80 people of all ages joining in it and savouring the sunshine, community spirit, singing and spiritual sustenance of the day.
Julia Wright led the service with her customary grace and warmth and, continuing Valley Worship’s concentration on the Book of Acts, Gerry Stacey spoke in particular about the remarkable impact of the conversion of Lydia (as recorded in its Chapter 16, beautifully read by Kate Mezger) and how counter-cultural her emergence as a leader of the new Christian movement would have been at the time.
A number of visitors to the Valley made great contributions to the service, including Mike Wilmot (who gave a powerful testimony about how much our thoughts and behaviour can change when we are aware of God’s presence and provision) and Joth and Simeon Taylor, both very talented musicians who led our worship in song with skill and sensitivity.
At the conclusion of the service all five members of the Young family joined together to lead the prayers, with a particular concentration on parts of the world facing grave uncertainty and deep suffering now, including Afghanistan and Haiti.
After the service, picnics and lunches cooked on the barbecue were enjoyed amidst first meetings of new friends and prized reunions of old ones after long seasons of separation during lockdowns. There was much good cheer and real agreement that these experiments in August with different types of summer services were well worth it and been very positive for our life as a community.