Summer Term Afternoons with Pathfinder Church

26th May - 14th July, 3.30-5pm in The Pathfinder CofE Primary School
During the School Term, Pathfinder Church welcome you to join our interactive and multisensory gatherings. Read all about them on our website, and then come ready for some Big Conversations!
  • 3.30pm Pick up a cuppa, a colouring sheet, and get to know those around your table
  • 3.35pm We'll start to set the scene and share news and updates
  • 3.40pm We light our candles and turn to worship
  • The Gathering continues with bible readings, discussion, interaction, sung worship, and at least 20 mins of free-flow exploration and prayer time, before we draw back together to ask "what are we noticing from God", and share in more prayer and worship. On 26th May, we'll also share in communion. 
  • We conclude at 5pm, when everyone helps pack up the table top boxes and clear the room ready for the school to use it in the morning.
Looking for extra resources to follow up on a particular "weird and wonderful" session? Jump to Resources at the bottom of this page...
During the school summer holidays, the various worshipping communities in the Northstowe Church Network all take a break from their regular gatherings, and instead come together to eat breakfast, get to know each other better, and share something of themselves:

Summer Holiday Sunday Breakfasts with the whole Northstowe Church Network

(Little Explorers, Pathfinder Church, The Compline Community, and friends, family, and neighbours)

21st July - 18th August, 10-11.30am in The Pathfinder CofE Primary School [No afternoon gatherings!]
  • 10am: We invite you to join us for breakfast around tables in the Small Hall or outside  (pastries, coffee, juice, and perhaps even bacon!) 
  • After breakfast , we'll start to explore the Weird and Wonderful story of the day...  and find ways to offer worship.
  • Each week will be different: Sometimes, we might head into the school garden to weed and tend the plants in the Conversation Area, some weeks we might go for a walk, other times hide from the rain inside.  
  • We'll pack up when we're done - 11.30am at the latest.
As ever when we're serving food, an idea of numbers REALLY helps. So please use the WhatsApp chat to let us know your plans, or drop us an email at contact@northstowe.church. If you want to make a contribution towards costs of food and room hire, you can donate online, or drop coins in our piggy bank. But you are welcome no matter what!
Looking for extra resources to follow up on a particular "weird and wonderful" session? Jump to Resources at the bottom of this page...

Extra Resources

We'll keep updating this part of the page with helpful extra resources, videos, and links to find out more. 

2nd June: Talking Donkey (Genesis 22-24)

This weird and wonderful account is popular with children... but when was the last time you heard it discussed at a deeper level?

Within our intergenerational gathering (or using these resources at home) we will help you peel back the layers and explore the passage from a number of perspectives (literary criticsism, archaeological evidence, Jewish teaching, feminist poetry...). In our gathering we'll also use it as a springboard to worship and a deeper encounter with the God who blesses us!
To set the scene, this illustrated bible timeline might help place it in the bigger picture - we're in the Wildnerness Wanderings this week [linked to original source]
Here are some of the helpful book and journal articles we refered and chewed over:
Again, the Bible Project's printable book summary helps put these stories into context (we've copies out during the Gathering)
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During the Exploring Time, these will be our Biq Questions and Springboards for exploration, prayer  and worship:

  • Chewing over Commentaries: Was Balaam Saint, Sinner... or something in between? And does it matter? (With opportunities to explore what else the biblical record, and various commentators, have to say about him)
  • Contemporary Encouragement: Balaam's first oracle celebrates God-at-work amongst the Israelites. Where can we celebrate God-at-work locally and nationally? And turn that into prayers of Praise!
  • Repenting of our cursing: Reflecting with the feminist poetry "I, who set out to curse you" alongside Balaam's failed attempts to curse Israel, where do we need to repent and change how we're speaking about something/someone loved by God. 
  • Wondering and Re-enacting the Story - what do you think is the most important part? could any bits be missed out, without changing the impact? where would you be in the story?
  • Praying with Art: contemplating with artistic depictions as a way into prayer and reflection.. or drawing/modelling your own!
  • Spending time with God - enjoying worship music and poetry
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This Blessing featured last week - but it's too good not to share again!

26th May: "Man Beats God in a Fight" (Genesis 32:22-30)

To quickly place this story within the bigger narrative of the Book of Genesis, have a watch of this video from the Bible Project, or pick out the story in this illustrated guide.  Remember - these are NOT stories that show us good examples of how to live well! 
Click on the image to download a full res version from the Bible Project
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NOTE: This video is not rated as suitable for children
You might like to explore how artists have depicted this week's story - and even try to create your own!
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Here's the children's book we were talking about on Sunday afternoon
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This is the beautiful track we listened to from The Porter's Gate
Yong, Amos. The Bible, Disability, and the Church: A New Vision of the People of God. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2011. has some excellent discussions on this passage. You can read a review of the book here...  which might inspire you to pick up a copy of the whole book!
The Northstowe Church Network is committed to the safeguarding of children, young people and adults. We follow the House of Bishops guidance and policies and have our own Safeguarding Officer. The Diocese of Ely’s safeguarding pages contain vital links and information including contacts for the Diocesan Safeguarding Advisor (DSA) who advise our SO. If you are concerned that a child or adult has been harmed or may be at risk of harm please contact the DSA. If you have immediate concerns about the safety of someone, please contact the police and your local authority Children or Adults Services.