Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Messy Church on Market day

Another cool and cloudy day, with occasional big gusts of wind, to make life interesting, especially for the people setting up canopies over the stalls in the nearby Tuesday mercadillo. I took my camera and went for a wander. It wasn't easy to resist the temptation to buy all sorts of attractive fresh fruit 'n veg, but being on my own, it's important not to over-buy as well as not to over-eat. 
Ninety percent of the stalls sell clothes, shoes and bags. There's a few stalls selling household goods and toiletries, a couple selling watches and sunglasses, a couple selling videos and music CDs, sending out pulses of Andalusian popular music into the crowd, if not the Concierto de Aranjuez, always a favourite.
No more than half a dozen stalls altogether sell food. Several specialise in honey, preserves, nuts, herbs spices and teas. Notably, there are no stalls selling wine, cheese, fish or meat products. So I wondered if the site wasn't licensed for that kind of trade. There's so many nice things to buy, but not enough time to use them all. Only rarely would I carry anything extra home to Cardiff. Heavy luggage is a no-no!
I did buy a kilo of tomatos peras for one euro, two kinds of olives and a tiny sachet of garam masala to add a little flavour interest to my cuisine experiments.

After lunch, I walked down to iglesia san Miguel to join the team of half a dozen preparing the hall for Messy Church. We welcomed half a dozen children and their parents or carers for a session of maritime play around the theme of Jesus stilling the storm. At the end we assembled for a brief story telling and prayer time which I led, with lots of actions and noise imitating the sounds of wind and rain. The children decorated figures of the disciples wielding oars to install in a cardboard model boat. After tidying up, I carried the enhanced model boat to churchwarden Judith's car, so that she could take it into the church shop for others to see. A sudden strong gust of wind emptied the boat of its crew of apostolic rowers, sending them into the air before scattering them along the street. It gave us a laugh, after the anxiety of the chase to retrieve them. 

A very happy afternoon, with the over sixties ministering to the under tens in the presence of parents or carers. Something made me think of stories told of communist Russia, how Christianity was transmitted, leap-frogging a generation due to the nation's baboushkas (grannies), pressed into child-minding service and using the opportunity to secretly catechise the kids, and introduce them where possible to places of worship, something they could get away with in times of persecution because they didn't have jobs or positions of importance to lose for defying the atheistic state. It's hardly that bad for us today. We enjoy the good-will of parents, happy to let their children be taught, when they themselves may either not be so confident to catechise, or simply too pre-occupied with work and maintaining the economic status quo to give that kind of quality time to their children. One thing is certain, whatever the circumstances of the era, the elders will always have a key part to play in sharing the tradition of faith.

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