Christchurch North Methodist Parish celebrated White Sunday, when traditionally in Tongan and Samoan churches the children and young people lead the worship service. Our Awesome Kids, youth and young adults took lead roles in our service assisted by some of our ‘slightly more experienced’ Awesome Kids.
We acknowledged and celebrated not only our children and youth, but people of all ages. We recognised the gifts God has placed in the people of our congregation and showed our thanks for the friendship, caring, teaching and mentoring given by our church family to our young people.
Our theme was taken from 1 Corinthians 12, One Body with Many Parts. Despite our obvious and many differences, God calls us to a colourful unity, and to a diversity without division. Every part is dependant on every other part. “I need you, and you need me.” If one part hurts, every part is involved in the hurt, and in the healing. If one part flourishes, every other part enters into the exuberance.
AbsolUKE, our ukulele group, led the worship music, along with the Chapel Street Band. Our young people led the prayers and readings, alongside older mentors, and we had an all-age drama group who performed The Body Skit. Our Call to Worship was co-led by one of our children and her very special 90-year-old friend.
In a time of discussion, we shared our most memorable experiences from Sunday School and Youth Group days, and a Question Time, posed some tricky questions: What is the best thing about being a child? What is the best thing about being a grown-up? What is the hardest thing about being a child? What is the hardest thing about being a grown-up?
We then broke into small groups for ‘Teach Me Something in Five Minutes’. Each adult and child taught something to someone from a different generation, in only a few minutes. There was knitting, weaving, origami, gardening tips, ukulele lessons, recipes and legends shared, different languages and how to make a paper dart. The variety of skills taught and information imparted was incredible. There was a tremendous buzz, warmth and much laughter as the generations worked together.
One of our teenagers presented a reflection, celebrating all our God-given gifts and highlighting the point that we are meant to use these gifts not just for our own good, but for the good of the people around us. She shared how being nurtured and guided by some of our elderly members of the congregation has shaped her into the person she is today.
“Every person contributes to the life of the church, and has gifts and talents to use, whether you know it or not... just like some parts of the body are a mystery as to what they do, and what they are for, they are still a part of the body and, are needed.”
She concluded with a message from 1 Corinthians 13, verses 1 and 2, that “whatever our gifts are, we are to use them lovingly, the love is more important than the gift.”