At the 2012 international meeting of the WWDP the Christian women of Cuba were given the theme ‘Receive children. Receive me’ to write a service on for 2016. Members of the Cuban national committee, together with more than 20 other WDP women came together to develop the service we celebrated on the 4th March. It was circulated and translated into more than 60 languages and 1,000 dialects. In the British Isles alone some 6,000 services will have been held.
Ladies from Corpus Christi, Bristol Road Baptist Church, Uphill Methodist Church, St Nicholas Church, Emmanuel Church, Boulevard URC, St Pauls Church, Salvation Army and Victoria Methodist Church all took part with me from CPBC leading the service. Approximately 70-80 people from all the above local Churches attended for this years’ service.
As people arrived they were asked to put their names on a card which had on the front the Cuban national flower (Butterfly jasmine flower). Later in the service these cards were handed around for people to take away and pray for the person whose name was on it. This in a way extending the WWDP for a few more days/weeks.
The ladies from the above churches participated as Cuban women/girls who carried symbols (a Bible, bowl of provisions, diary, candle, maracas and sugar) to a table. They then read throughout the service.
Children, young people and families were at the heart of this years’ service and the theme
‘Receive children. Receive me.’ was based on the readings from Mark 10:13-16 and Isaiah 11:1-10. Jesus called the children to him “Let the little children come to me..for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs”. In the service we were challenged to see children through Jesus’ eyes – and not only children but all God’s people.
As leader I conducted the ‘Meditation’ which was a number of slides portraying children / adults in different settings and asking questions to the congregation about what they thought they were looking at. Also to view the ‘Meditation picture’ and ask how this spoke to them. The artist of this picture (Ruth Mariet Trueba Castro) used symbolism and poetry to convey how we may ‘receive children’ and how ‘the child within us’ may receive Jesus. She also wanted to represent the diversity of the Cuban people.
We sang ‘Come on and celebrate’, ‘All over the world the Spirit is moving’, ‘Sent by the Lord am I’ and ‘The day Thou gavest, Lord, is ended’; with a singing prayer of praise ‘O sing to the Lord’ and lastly ‘For everyone born, a place at the table’ sang beautifully by our soloist Kaye Cooke. We prayed for the people and leaders of Cuba and also for our own town, churches, church families and children of Weston-super-Mare. Our offering amounted to a wonderful £240 which will go towards many national and international projects.
All responding with: We are your children, part of your beloved creation and have a place in your heart. Help us: to speak kindly and to be a forgiving community, to accept every human being as unique and worthy to God, to keep the hope in a future of justice and peace, to receive children in
order that they are able to dream, laugh, dance and love without discrimination.
Thank you to everyone who attended CPBC and to those who took part in the service. Thank you to all the people to helped with welcoming, audio/visual, sound, music, singing, refreshments and making of cakes / home-made lemonade.
Remember : Receive children. Receive me.