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Pearls of Life

A Pilgrimage Walk in St Mabyn Church: 17th September 2017
Introduction

In July this year a group from a Lutheran church in Sweden visited St Endellion church and introduced us to the Pearls of Life.
Today’s service is based on the service they used to celebrate the end of their week with us.

The “Pearls of Life” is a bracelet and was created, some 25 years ago by Bishop Martin Lennobo, on a Greek island, during a storm.
It is known as a lifebuoy, or Our Saviours Wreath. Each Pearl shares a message and bears an invitation from the creator – from God
When the currents of our lives change these can drown us in demands for our time, money, expectations and information.
We need something to hold onto, that will help us focus and draw us back to what is most important in our lives.

The centre of our lives is usually material; food, home, people and possessions. We ignore the spiritual; the loving force that holds us all together.

The Pearls help us to find God; help us to reconnect with our inner self, with fellow human beings; with nature.

The Pearls of Life is a prayer bracelet for the modern pilgrim setting out on the most difficult of journeys – the inner one. It is an aid to focus on prayer and meditation.

The Pearls are a reminder of God’s presence, particularly when we touch them.
Open your packet and take out your bracelet of Pearls

The walk around St Mabyn Church will start with the God, the God Pearl (Gold); Carol/Felicity/Rex/ Jill/ Bob etc will take us through the first three stages of our walk

Pilgrimage Walk in St Mabyn Church ( Final 15/9/17)
A walk with the ”Lifebuoy” (Frälsarkransen) – the bracelet of Pearls.
Introduction – see seperate sheet
1.The God Pearl - Gold
The prayer area
The God Pearl reminds us that there is always someone who is with us and watching over us. Inside the God Bead the knot of the bracelet is hidden as a symbol of our life which is tied to God.
God is the beginning and the end of everything. ”You are boundless; you are near. You are light and I am yours”
Sweets which are wrapped in gold paper are offered to all.
2. The I/me Pearl – small, white/clear
By the pulpit
Please come forward to have your hands rubbed with a softening cream as a sign of God’s love and care and as a reminder that we should love and care for ourselves and for our neighbours
It reminds us of being created in the image of God and loved exactly as we are. We are unique; we are a mystery to ourselves and to others. ”I am a drop in God’s sea that reflects the sky”

3. The Baptism Pearl – White
At the font
A jug with water is poured into a bowl. Dip your fingers in the bowl, think of your babtism and dry your hand with the towel
The Baptism Pearl reminds us of the courage we need to start anew. Baptism provides unlimited grace and forgiveness. It is never too late. ”I am your child, my God, help me grow, help me to focus on you and spend more time with you”
4. The Desert Pearl – Sand coloured, large
In a circle by the chest in front of the organ
Big basket with salt and vinegar crisps – take a crisp or two
The Desert Pearl symbolizes adversities in life. All of us have a desert time in our lives at some point. It can last for anything from a few minutes up to days, months or years. You are not abandoned. God carries you when you cannot walk on your own.
”Cleanse me from bad thoughts so I will be clean. Heal me so I will be whole”
Sweets
5. The Silence Pearls (6) – Sand coloured. Small and long
Next to the table of Mabena stones, under the Amazing Grace painting
The bracelet has 6 Silence Pearls, more than any other beads. Maybe this will tell us something. Strain and stress fill our days and we have not got time to hear ourselves and we do not have time to listen to what God wants to tell us. Be still, silent, do not move, listen and look, let go and stop!
”In God’s silence may I be – quiet, still, craving nothing”
6. The Serenety Pearl – Blue.
Next to the table of Mabena stones, under the Amazing Grace painting
There are some stones; pick one up as a symbol of our worries; hold th stone, warm it in your hands and leave it in the basket; feel carefree for a moment. Enjoy leaving demands and expectations behind. Smile at each other!
We have a lovely soft ball of wool which we can pass around
Stand still for a few moments; think of all the good things in your life
”Help me realy live, not just exist”
7. The Love Pearls (2) - Red
At the back by the 2 tables in the centre aisle
The 2 red beads symbolizing the love we receive from God and God’s love that we pass on to others. The love we receive and the love we give.
We give a red paper heart to those by our left side

”God, help me to love. Open me now to the strength of the love I long for”
8. The Secret Pearls – 3 small and clear pearls
By the pulpit
These three pearls contain the innermost secrets of the heart. What we do not speak about to anybody. The mystery of creation, relatives, ourseleves and God. Only God knows! He hears your innermost prayers, your innermost hope and longing.
Everybody is invited to light a candle and to pray in silence to God.
”Lord, I entrust the secrets of my heart to your care”
9. The Night Pearl - Black
Out in the porch
This Pearl contains the most difficult moments in life. It is night. It is black. It often takes years to recognise and come to terms with them. It can be very difficult and painful.
”Be close to me in darkness so I find the light”
We eat liquorice.
”After night there comes day.
God has not gone away”

10. The Resurrection Pearl - White
In a circle by the chest in front of the organ
There is a small set of stairs in the wall. A cross has been placed there and also a white cloth, representing the shroud next to it
.The stone has been rolled away and the tomb is empty. The night has gone and the day is here. Christ is risen. Celebrate the victory of good over evil.
”Every breath; you in me, me in you”

11. The God Pearl - Gold
The prayer area, where we started
God – the beginning and the end of everything. All life is in God. He is present in us and natural in our lives as our own breathing.
Let us now recreate the cross by breaking plates and celebrate Christ’s resurrection
Out in the porch again – brake plates!
Back in the porch where we are given two or more white china plates. We are asked to drop the plates on the floor. The broken china is carried to the Chancel, in front of the alter and a cross is made from it.
Return to the chancel
We put lighted candles at each end and in the middle of the cross.
The broken china is a symbol of our imperfect and broken lives and that we are to carry each others fragility and broken down states in fellowship and love.
”The Cross is a reminder of Christs body, broken for us.”
The Pearls bring light and meaning to each of us. The beads can help cary a lot of our burdens
Go back to your places
We will then sing: Just as I am…(Hymn 413

The Agape meal was held in the Church on Maundy Thursday to commemorate the last supper.

 

The Lent course is an exploration into the truth of the Christian faith as revealed in Jesus Christ.

The first session on 17th February was an introduction to the creeds - what we believe in and trust.
We covered the Apostles creed - which sets out the faith of the Church and the Nicene creed, a more detailed summary of what the church believes.
We spent much of the time exploring the reasons the creeds were developed.

The second session, which was on 24th February explored the profound and wonderful truth that God is Trinity - Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
We looked at and were inspired by Russian Icons of the Trinity. 
We discussed the love and self-giving within the Trinity and which person of the Trinity we found it hardest to engage with and why!

In the third session, on Tuesday 1st March, we explored the unique nature of Jesus.
This will teach us a great deal about God and what it is to be human.

 

Speaking Out 2016
A challenge for Lent
St Tudy and St Mabyn were the first people to speak about Jesus in our area of North Cornwall,
They have been followed by many generations of faithful people speaking of salvation and hope.
It is by these first saints telling their story and then others telling their story that we arrive at today.
Bishop Tim has issued a challenge for 2016 and is asking people to tell their stories of faith and share with others something of what is important to them and why.
It is a challenge that before Easter two thousand and sixteen faith stories will be spoken and heard in Cornwall ie To speak hope, to speak love, to tell story.
This may be done with members of our your family , friends or shared in Church or the pub !
It may be a story about someone else who has shared their story with you in the past.
If you would like to write a few words then this could be emailed to a friend or published anonymously on a website eg www.stmabynchurch.co.uk or shared on social media.
Story telling has always been with us and certainly outdates modern technology so please keep this tradition going.

Bishop Tim

ST MABYN LABYRINTH – 2015  

The labyrinth is a place of healing and celebration, a place where new direction for life is sought and found. Labyrinths are seen as a ‘divine imprint’, found in Christian traditions in various forms around the world. . St Mabyn church held a Labyrinth week with the active involvement of the St Mabyn CoE School – staff and children, people from the community and the church and of course Rev Canon Dave Elkington, our Rural Dean. It proved a most uplifting and inspiring addition to the life of the village.
We thank the Reverend Robert Thewsey, of Boscastle who lent us the labyrinth canvas. This was laid out in the nave. We created three “stations” as preparation for those starting to walk the labyrinth. These were Beginning (a time for silence and contemplation around the font), Burdens (getting rid of the rubbish in our lives, in a bin placed by the wall under a picture called Amazing Grace) and Seeds of Hope (planting the seeds that will enable us to achieve more of what we are good at, by the pulpit). After the walk there were two further “stations”: Prayers of thanks, for the community, for our families and for the world, and Reflections, which included “footprints, drawing and writing”. There were plenty of seats for sitting in quiet contemplation and “supervisors” in attendance to give guidance at the “stations” – and to offer refreshment too!
Over 250 people came to church that week and the feedback, from all ages, was overwhelmingly positive. There is clearly a need for us all to take “time out” and contemplate and to reflect on our and the worlds Burdens and Seeds of Hope. The exit surveys gave many examples of deep thinking and humour that are never far away in so-called normal life!
The actual walking of the labyrinth, in socks, stockings and bare feet, on the Holy ground, made for a very tactile experience too – which was enhanced by holding and warming a stone and thinking of the Seeds of Hope. There is no right or wrong way to walk it, nothing has to be done, it’s flexibility and accessibility enables people to engage with God in a direct and personal way. It can serve as a desert, a wilderness for the explorer, offering opportunities for renewal and growth.
This is a starting point for exploring the nature of one’s spirituality.
The aura in this very large (for a small village!) late medieval building is always calm and inspiring and bright sunlight pouring through the beautiful large stained glass windows is always uplifting and in this lovely week in June made the whole experience something which, in the words of many attending “must be taken to other churches!” If you are interested please contact Rev Canon Dave Elkington. We have templates for the station guidance notes, team instructions, labyrinth walk guidance and publicity material that are available at the click of a mouse!

guidance notes for the “stations” of the labyrinth