Today I’m nursing an aching back and sore feet after my annual pilgrimage to the Christian Resources Exhibition. I came back with a ruck sack stuffed full of brochures, leaflets and samples. For the first time my wife Mary Ann was able to come and we were joined by our church administrator Kasonde and church member Rita. We also met up with Mary Ann’s cousins Arlyn (here on vacation from the Philippines) and Arnold. It was the first time that any of them had been and I think they found the exhibits interesting and inspiring.
This year I wasn’t looking for anything in particular, except coffee! Two companies (Indigo Coffee and Kingdom Coffee) were promoting their fairly traded products and coffee making equipment. This was with the ground floor development at Archway Methodist Church in mind. It was good to meet up briefly with our architect, Derek Kemp from CPL, meet members of the connexional team on the Methodist Church stand and bump into some ministerial colleagues. Oh – there was one other thing – I had promised the folk at Islington Central to look out for NIV Bibles as we were saying just on Sunday that most of the Bibles they have have broken spines, missing pages etc. I was given a free sample of the latest edition of the NIV, which I shall gladly take back to the church. I also bought a new clerical shirt from African Praise Vestments – I usually buy one every year. They’re great shirts with unique designs and are on sale for just £20 at CRE. (Actually I didn’t pay for it – Thanks to Rita who insisted on buying it as an ‘early birthday present.)
The most interesting free sample was a little 3 pack boxed set of Celebration Cup Wafer and Juice Sets. I’ve never come across these before. Basically it’s a little plastic cup containing
wine grape juice with a tiny wafer sealed in the top. I happened to bump into another Methodist minister while I was standing at the stall and we concluded that in certain circumstances (such as sick visitation) they might have a use, but we couldn’t really see them being used at main acts of worship. Personally I am willing to tolerate small cups (glass or stainless steel) instead of a common cup, but these are just too – well, tacky – for my liking. I can see them working for churches that pass the elements around the congregation but in our tradition of coming forward to the table to receive, they just wouldn’t work. And what do people do with the foil lids and plastic covers when they have peeled them off?