Makers and Bakers - update Dec12

Monday, 17 December, 2012

In spring 2012, Rachel responded to God's call and decided to combine her love for cooking with a personal concern for the local community. She had the idea of inviting local children and families to come together at a venue, learn about healthy eating - and learn about God in the process. They would hear a Bible story, bake something as a group and then sit down to eat it.

Her aim was to help people 'develop a healthy heart for God' through an initiative called Maker and Bakers.

It's a wonderful opportunity to get to know the families... to share a little bit of God's love for them through the storytelling but also through the relationships that we're building.

So far, Rachel adds, everybody has really enjoyed it.

There's been a great desire to do more and more of them so we keep following God's guidance and keep going with it.

Rachel Matthews updates us on her experiences of trying to build community through baking sessions.

Duration: 6:15   | Download Download video (flv) | Download Download video (wmv) | View on YouTube


Rachel Matthews: I wonder if you can guess what we're making today. Gingerbread men. Because I think there is an analogy between making a gingerbread man and forming a fresh expression of church. So bear with me.

In the last little video that I did I was making cupcakes, trying  to be like Delia but failing, and telling you a little bit about an initiative we wanted to launch locally called maker and bakers. Maker and bakers is in essence a very very simple concept in which we gather together - well we invite children from the local community, local schools, the playgroup that uses the church, to come with their parents or grandparents and spend a bit of time with us making, baking, we do arts and crafts, but whatever we make, we eat together at the end of the session. And it's just a wonderful opportunity to get to know the families more, but also to share a little bit of God's love for them through the storytelling but also through the relationships that we're building.

If I had to sum it up, I'd say that we've been covered in flour, we have been dripping in tomato purée and we've had faces smudged with chocolate but everybody's really enjoyed it and there's been a great desire to do more and more of them, so, you know, we keep following God's guidance and, you know, keep going with it.

As I was preparing for the little session that we've ran this week, we were telling the story of Noah and the ark and we were making gingerbread animals. And as I was making the biscuit dough on Sunday evening I began to think about the effort that was involved in pulling together gingerbread and how similar it is to the effort involved in getting to know your community and developing a fresh expression of church. And so I thought well why not share it. So here I am, I'm going to do my very best to make the gingerbread and share it with you.

This looks great, but in this recipe I need to create a hole, a well in the middle to add the next ingredient. And I think this is like the new communities that we'll be part of. There's a hole there. There's something that's needed to bind all this together, to form something really strong and substantial and change it, change the very essence of it. You see I think this bit is the trickiest part of this recipe. But it's also probably the trickiest part of the work that we're called to do. Because exploring discipleship, telling people about Jesus, it isn't always straightforward. It can get very messy, it can get very sticky, discipleship... I mean what should it look like? What is it? It's different for everybody. I mean in the case of this, does this look right? It doesn't look right at the moment but it is right, it's getting there, it's changing, but it's going to take time and it's going to need me to help to change it. It's going to need me to keep working with it.

You need to bring it all together lovingly, carefully, you're going to question it at times - does it look right, has it changed yet, how do I know if it's changed enough - but basically you've got to put your trust in the maker. You've got to put your trust in his hands.

And after a while, you're left with something that looks very very different. And this new community of people won't be perfect, but they're God's people, so he'll be pleased that they've been brought together. And this new community of people will journey together towards being a new form of church. You'll need to keep a careful eye on them, this mixture's still very delicate. Sometimes it might burn at the edges, cracks might appear, sometimes you'll even wonder what on earth have I started.

As I reflect on the time that we've had at maker and bakers over the past few sessions, I'm hugely aware that none of the cakes that we've made or biscuits we've produced would ever feature in something like The Great British Bakeoff, we are not going to win an award for anything that we do, but what we are winning is the hearts of the children who come along and the hearts of the families involved and that is good enough for me.

I want to try this gingerbread lady now, but I'm a bit worried because of the resemblance, I don't want to hurt her, so just, you know, just try and hand and see what it's like... Mmm, very nice!

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