This weekend has been quite full.
Friday evening Finnsnes Church hosted the Kvinnenes Internasjonale Bønnedag (Women’s International Day of Prayer). It was a good service with many thought provoking stories, music from different countries, and with participation from 5 or 6 countries. The messages were a bit mixed at whether this was a women-only event, so I was 50% of the male representation (I was there to do the sound).
Saturday we had an extra baptism service. Normally baptisms are in the context of regular Sunday worship, symbolic of becoming part of the church (don’t get me started on baptism generally . . .), but for a variety of reasons this service was added to accommodate some young people who needed to be baptised before they are confirmed (which also brings up the rather ‘unusual’ situation in Norway where a young person answers for them self at baptism, but then says nothing to ‘confirm’ their baptism at confirmation: weird). Anyway, it was a joyous occasion, and the young man looked especially smart after his ‘hair wash’. It seems to be a feature here that baptisms are a bow-tie affair.
Today was a family service in Finnsnes church followed by 3F (Finnsnes Church’s family ‘outdoor’ group in the park). We had an interesting mix of baptism families in Bunad (traditional Norwegian clothing), and young families in their outdoor gear. I joined the 3F! event, trying to avoid being the ‘creepy single older guy’ (I did try to borrow a child, but none were available!). There was fun on the ice and we did try a bit of sledging, but their wasn’t quite enough snow to properly cover the sheet ice on the hillside (I managed to hit a large ice bump hidden under the snow, which has exactly the same spine-jarring effect as hitting a rock – I hope to be able to sit properly tomorrow as I have to do some driving). We put up a lavo (traditional round tent) on the ice, had a short service in it, joined by some ‘extras’ from the play ground, followed by the obligatory sausages and coffee. A sunny but cold afternoon.