Yet again, I start another blog post lamenting the fact that it has been too long since the last one. However, we have had lots of goings on that have prevented us from doing so, and jolly exciting ones too! Two such things are the weekends away that we’ve been having. There was the church weekend ‘away, and the Rooted weekend away, both of which were jolly occasions that require blogging about.
The church weekend ‘away’ has ‘away’ in inverted commas for the reason that it was not actually away, if you catch my drift. We went to a rather grand-sounding place called Great Walstead School… which is approximately a seven-minute drive away from church. For me, this was excellent because it meant that we got all of the great parts of a church weekend away whilst sleeping in your own bed, which, for me, is the perfect combination.
We had some useful meetings, great teaching, some singing, lots of good food, and plenty of fun and games! There was a particularly fun adventure playground which proved sturdy enough for us ‘grown-ups’ to have a rollick around on, and Stuart in particular regressed to teasing his little sister. In fact, I’m not sure this is actually regressing, as I don’t think he ever stopped.
(On that note, did I mention that Hannah is now down south with us? She has come to be our church apprentice, which means that she helps out here, there and everywhere in church life, and in return get some good training and teaching. I think it’s a win-win situation, especially as it means that there are more Holloways migrating to the correctly-spoken portion of England.)
We even participated in water polo and something called ‘crocker’, which is a cross between cricket and soccer (sort of), although I think it’s more akin to stool ball. This may not seem bizarre to you, but let me take you back two years or so to when Stuart and I first met. Anybody who knows either of us will know that we both hate participating in sports, for various reasons. I think this has directly contributed to the fact that we are married. Let me explain: When we were both Relay workers, in group training situations there is inevitably an amount of sport played. During this time, both Stuart and I sat out on a matter of principle. This being so, we spent a lot of time talking and the read is (modern) history.
But, participate we did, and they were actually quite fun.
Last weekend was the Rooted weekend away, and this one actually was away. Rooted is the youth group for 13-18-year-olds that meets at Christ Church, that Stuart and I help out at on a weekly basis. We, along with Keturah, Keiran, Murial, Steve, Luke and Larissa, took 15 of such teenagers to Mile End for the weekend, to sleep on a church floor and engage in much craziness. Sounds mad? It probably was, but definitely worth it.
Luke provided teaching for the weekend, leading us in talks and discussions on the subjects of creation and homosexuality, and we discovered that the two are linked more than you would have thought. The youth seemed to engage well in these topical issues, and I was greatly encouraged by their thoughts and prayers throughout the weekend.
Activities included a massive scavenger hunt/real life Monopoly across London, more Bananagrams than you can shake a stick at, a quiz that included ‘guess the crisp’ round, lots of Simpsons-based board games, and yet another adventure playground. As you can imagine, after all that we were pretty exhausted, but we’re trusting that God will greatly bless those who came.