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Worship, Games, and a Talent Show!

Submitted by Bethany on Tue, 10/23/2018 - 10:00

One of the most fun parts of my trip with the local Methodist church to Sidmouth, England was every evening when we gathered in the music room for fellowship, worship, and games. 


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The music room itself was perhaps the most beautiful part of the hotel. It was a huge space surrounded by two story tall windows, decorated with elegant pieces, and crowned with a bright blue organ. We never used the organ but it was a stunning piece to admire nonetheless.

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We used the room for several activities over the course of our time there, watching movies on the screen, worship, and playing games. The tables and chairs were easily arranged for whatever we had coming up next. It was easy to picture what the space might have been used for in the past - formal worship, grand balls or dances, if those walls could talk I would love to hear the stories. 

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The first night we arrived we gathered in this room to play some trivia games. I am not known for my skill in trivia even when I've played back home. Here, where the questions focused on British celebrities and culture, I was even more rubbish at it (to borrow a British turn of phrase). On this whole sheet of 64 celebrities I recognized exactly 5. Each of the celebrities paired together had either a surname or a first name in common. My group did pretty well at it despite my being of no help at all. 

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My favorite game we played the next night, and it involved sculpting things out of play dough. We were given a box of 18 clues, and we had 15 minutes to finish as many of them as we could. It was basically charades, except with play dough. You pulled a clue, such as "car", then had to sculpt a car and get your group to guess what you were making without saying anything. It was quite fun and hilarious at times, and the time limit really made it a challenge. I wish I had thought of this game back when I was doing youth ministry, it's a game for all ages! 

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On the last night we had a talent show! It was quite entertaining. One man got up and sang a song, a love song I think, that was quite moving. I felt like I was sitting in a nightclub in an old movie. 

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Someone else played acoustic guitar and sang a few songs. I love acoustic guitar. It reminded me of sitting in my uncle's house listening to him pick at the guitar and sing a few songs, which brings back very happy memories. If I'm ever super rich I might just pay someone to follow me around playing acoustic guitar in the background, that's how much I love it. 

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The group also presented a thank you gift to Andy (the pastor) and Emily (his wife) for all their hard work on planning and leading this trip. I remember how hard those things are (even fun trips are a lot of work!) so I was very appreciative that this time I was able to just tag along. They also had their adorable three year old with them and he was so much fun to watch and interact with (even if he makes me miss my godson who is the same age!). 

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We also shared many instances of worship in this space, in the mornings and the evenings. Andy was always very prepared with liturgy, music, and often even some pictures taken just that day on the trip! Because their three year old was with us, a few times we sang some children's songs, which was actually a lot of fun. It was entertaining to watch a room full of grown ups do all the motions to "Our God is a Great Big God!".

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On the last night, after the talent show, Andy invited me to help lead worship and co-preside over communion. I didn't have much prepared but I shared with the group my call to ministry and how I have seen God working in my life to transform me from someone who was terrified of public speaking (all though high school, college, and seminary!) into someone who loves preaching God's word to God's people. Presiding over communion with Andy was very moving, it's been a while since I've done so, and the liturgy we used was absolutely beautiful. It was a great way to end a wonderful trip. 

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Overall this trip was a time of spiritual rest and renewal for me. I felt connected to God, to the community of believers, and even to the role of pastor leading worship once again. As much as I am loving traveling and exploring the world, I do still feel called to ministry, and I know God isn't done with me yet. This trip was a great reminder of that for me! I am so grateful to Andy, Emily, and all the Murton Methodists for inviting me along on this holiday. 

XOXO, Bethany