A gathering place is any place where people are able to congregate. Gathering places may be public; for example, city streets, town squares, and parks; or private; for example, churches, coffee shops, stadiums, and theatres. Examples of gathering places include: Stonehenge the agora of Ancient Greece, Trafalgar Square or Central Park… Thus says Wikipedia…… or even Vivary Park, Long run Meadow or Galmington playing fields, Comeytrowe Centre or St Michael’s Church.
I would dispute, even though the doors do shut for security reasons, the notion in this piece from Wikipedia, that the church is private. It is and always has been my understanding that The Parish Church is public and open to all.
A gathering place for everyone.
We met for the first time for public worship on Thursday. Some came but not many. Many still are keeping their distance. Covid-19 and isolating having rocked their sense of security in the outside world.
We met to share in a service of simple morning prayer. We were gathered:
Brought together and taken in from scattered places or sources. Our homes and our places of work.
And together we became a gathering.
As the Oxford English Dictionary puts it we were an assembly or meeting, especially one held for a specific purpose.
We pondered what our purpose was; there was no singing, as it is deemed to be key in the spreading of Covid-19, particularly at religious or sporting gatherings. So it was not to sing.
It was not to take communion; as for now we wish church to feel as safe as possible for as many as possible.
It was surely to pray, for community, nation and world. But we knew it was for more than that. Our small gathering was representative of all of our regular acts of worship. Our 8am on Sunday, Our 10am on Sunday, Our Thursday morning communion and our Monthly Sunday evening ‘Songs of praise’.
We were truly gathered and to what end? To pray and also…
To rest. To flop, before God, to hand over our cares together.
Our reading was this; a well known text for sure:
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Matthew 11:28-30 NIV
This text summed up our collective worship. In our small gathering our purpose was to come before God, to collapse, to rest and to be gathered in to the loving arms and the peaceful presence of God.
Church continues to be open.
In the building:
- Tuesday 9.30-1.30, for your own prayers and reflection.
- Thursday 10-11, Morning Prayer for all.
- Thursday 11-1.30, for your own prayers and reflection
· Sunday (from August 9th) 6pm, contemporary worship, reflection and activity. All at a safe social distance.
- Online Sunday morning Worship 10 am on Facebook at, St Michael’s Galmington or YouTube at Rev J Woo, St Michael’s GALMINGTON.
- Zoom coffee on Sundays at 11, after the service online. And Wednesday at 10.30 am, please email for the link: firstname.lastname@example.org
Paper copies of our worship are available for use at home. Please call the church office for further information: 01823 332371
The bookstall/swap, remains outside of St Michael’s, along with a daily Taunton Foodbank collection.
For any information regarding any of this please contact the Church Office on 01823 332371 or email@example.com
Further guidance, regarding Mikey’s Coffee Shop and Saturday Sales.
We miss you all.