We are all connected

John 15. 1-8

We are all connectedLast year I moved to Wales, I didn’t know anyone, I had never been to this place before. I decided to look for a church and opted for the town church as it was early so off I went. HoweverI got stuck - the sheep were crossing the road. I proceeded only to be stopped again by cows this time. 

Argg.. This resulted in me arriving very late so I decided to abandon my attempt to go to that service, I returned to the little village church. I put my head around the door to be warmly greeted and it is there I have continued to attend. Sitting enjoying coffee after the service, I began to get to know people.. and discovered connections, people had visited or even lived in the same places I had.

Within this little church I found connections to my life. The biggest connection was the faith we shared.

I connected with the people, with the church and with the community. When we are connected it makes you feel like you belong. It is a truly good feeling.

John puts it so well.


“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; 

When we feel like we belong we want to help one another and be a part of the life that flows from the connection. It’s that connection that enables us to bear fruit.

The roots are our faith. The church is the stem and we are all the branches.

We have to be aware though that roots at times get disturbed, by the weather – too much water can weaken the roots, and at times the sun and not enough water can make us wilt.

Our faith can be like that as well – we need to lead a balanced life, regularly feeding our faith and when we do we ‘bear much fruit’.

What kind of fruit is John talking about? This is clarified later on in the bible, in Galatians 5 verse 22, But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.


Today, I’d like you to think about all the connections in your life, when you start thinking about it there are so many. As we move and grow, and our life changes the one constant is our roots. If we have strong roots of faith, then no matter what happens we will be able to weather the storms that life throws at us.

I used to say in my baptism services, if a child grows up knowing God, and having a good experience being part of a church, then when they go off travelling the world (as teenagers do) should they get into trouble there will always be a church wherever they go.

There are lots of games to play connecting the children to each other.. I really enjoy getting them to think about who they are and writing things down on post it notes.

Getting them to draw a picture of themselves. Then around them are the things that describe themselves.


Then with extra post it notes go around and find the things that connect you to another person.  Putting your name and what it is that connects you. For example:
 



Hopefully every child will end up – surrounded by connections.
You can limit or direct the connections that they share.
It’s great fun and very interesting, it also helps you get to know the children a little better.

It even works with adults.. I wonder who you have a connection with? :)

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About Michelle Bailey

Reverend Michelle Bailey is the Rural Officer for the Bishop of Brecon and Swansea  She previously worked in Children's Ministry and was ordained in the Church of England. Her blog includes ideas on presenting concepts of faith to young children to the age of eleven and furthering faith development in an educational context. Michelle currently lives in Wales and is also developing a rural ministry blog.
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