As he led the All Age Worship, joint service, at St. Mark’s, on Sunday 8th April, Andy wore his new, emblazoned shirt for the first time! He commented on the fact that, although he had today, he didn’t always remember to introduce himself to anyone who didn’t know who he was. He said that when they dressed informally, our minister, Eileen, and the Methodist minister, Patrick, could wear their “Dog collars” and thus still be identified by those who didn’t know them. However, he didn’t have that option
So, inspired by something he had seen at a Lay Readers’ meeting, he had had a special Shirt made for himself, and this was the first time he had worn it!
In leading the service Andy had been helped by an enthusiastic group of singers/musicians who led the hymn singing …..
….. and the Rev. Patrick who gave the talk.
This was based on our reading, John 20 v 19-31, in which the risen Jesus appeared to his disciples when they had locked themselves into a room for fear of the authorities. Thomas, because he had not ben there, did not believe that his friends had actually seen Jesus. Patrick pointed out that Jesus did not condemn Thomas for this but appeared again to the disciples, when he was present, and stood alongside Thomas to reassure him. In speaking Patrick drew on his experience when he had been at a critical match, at Anfield, earlier in the week and had stood next to a father with his young son. Apparently an aggressive incident had occurred in front of them, which had frightened and upset the boy, spoiling his enjoyment of the exciting match. His father comforted him and assured him that he would stay with him and that he would be safe with him. Patrick likened the man’s behavior to that of Jesus with his terrified disciples. Jesus would always be there for them as, indeed, he will for us.
As to the shirt, personally I think Andy is great whatever he wears, but he did look very smart in his new shirt!