We had a great and different service at Church this morning, led by Christine, who was encouraging us to be creative, so there were lots of things to do, colouring, drawing, writing, using the flags or just sitting quietly and listening to the various songs.  

One of my prayers before the service was that people in the congregation didn’t feel that they had to do something, but could just be themselves and if that meant they just sat quietly, that was fine.  Sometimes we think we should conform and be like someone else, but God didn’t make us all the same - He gave us different gifts and abilities so how can we all be alike?

Stephen, Christine’s husband, a retired doctor, preached and his subject was “When Does Life Begin?”  An interesting and emotive subject, which he dealt with very well in the time available.  We listened to Psalm 139 and this states that before a baby is born it is God’s creation, that God is in communion with the baby before birth and that there is a continuity between life before and after birth.  

Stephen used these Romanian dolls - seven in all (which is where the title comes in, as seven is a “Biblical number”) to help us understand the three “Cs” of his sermon, Creation, Communion, and Continuity, originally mentioned in a sermon by John Stott, who was a prominent Christian leader, and to whom Stephen gave the credit.

Following the sermon, Rachel, who is involved with a group called Pregnancy Choices, gave us some prayer pointers.  Pregnancy Choices helps women with an unplanned pregnancy and also with pregnancy loss caused through abortion, miscarriage or stillbirth and offers support as well as time to talk and space to explore thoughts and feelings in a safe, confidential environment.  

After the service, I took a photograph of the dolls and decided that this would be my Blip for today - in fact, it fits well with the Still Life challenge.  

You shaped me, 
     inside and out.
You knitted me together 
     in my mother’s womb 
          long before I took my first breath.
I will offer You my grateful heart, 
     for I am Your unique creation, 
          filled with wonder and awe.

Psalm 139 : 13-14 
The Voice Translation

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