I explained a few weeks ago that I have recently joined Revive as the new minister in training, and I shared a little last week about how warmly embraced I have felt ever since arriving. Well Sunday was my official welcome service, and it was a great blessing which really put the icing on the cake. (No pun intended, although there was a joyous amount cake there!)
As part of the service I was given my very own Revive Survival Kit, a wonderful array of items which contained clues about the nature of the community I have joined, and tools to help me get through the next three years. It was a great beginners guide to Revive, so I thought it might be a good insight for those of you who have stumbled across us and are wondering what we might be like.
So, here is the REVIVE SURVIVAL KIT…
Revive CDs A few years back, Revive recorded some of their own music, and I’m listening to one of the albums as I write this. Emma described it on Sunday as worship in a minor key, and I wholeheartedly agree that it is important to acknowledge the minor keys in our lives, and worship from where we are and not where we think we’re meant to be.
Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals This is a book which takes the ancient tradition of daily prayer and presents it afresh. Revive may do things a little differently, but there is value in the old (Jeremiah 6:16) as well as the new (Isaiah 43:19). And I understand that a number of memebrs of Revive use this pattern of prayer, so it’s a wonderful way of walking as community even when we are apart.
Decaf Earl Grey Teabags This is the tea of choice for Revive, perhaps because we meet in the evenings, when too much caffeine would be inadvisable. I’m not sure I’ll convince my husband to get on board with this, but I rather like it.
Clock This is no ordinary clock, as it has an extra hand labeled ‘revive time’. We don’t have the best reputation for timekeeping, but then I’m pretty sure the entire Baptist Union runs on a different time zone.
Recipe for Guinness Cake Another Revive favourite. I managed to grab a slice on Sunday and it was delicious, so now I have to learn to bake it…
Ordnance Survey Map for Yorkshire Dales I’m told Revive loves a good walk, and having just moved from the Gateway to the Dales, I know there aren’t many better.
Breakfast With God Not a full English in a box, but a book by our very own Simon Hall. The blurb says it will help me see God at work without offering answers that are too simplistic. That sounds like a good motto for teaching at Revive.
Bubble Bath Because sometimes I’ll need a break. A church that values the importance of rest sounds good to me.
Notebook and Pen By their own admission, Revive hasn’t always been the most organised. I on the other hand am pretty sure I’ve dreamt in spreadsheets, so I’m hoping I can bring just the right amount of structure, without changing the shape of what is already here.
Tissues Necessary for the women’s prayer group, I am told. That speaks to me of a willingness to be open and vulnerable, and to cry with one another. That is an important thing to find in a community.
Frozen Top Trumps This represents Revive’s love of board games, something Mike and I fully approve of. It’s good to have shared joys, and we look forward to many hours of gaming.
Towel Essential for impromptu baptisms (see last week’s blog) so in the spirit of Arthur Dent I shall always know where my towel is.
There were also a couple of bits I didn’t pull out of the box yesterday, but which I think I can take a stab at interpreting…
I Love Sufjan Stevens Sticker I have already picked up on a not-so-secret love of Sufjan Stevens from a few people, so think this is another shared passion, although one I may need a little more educating in…
Nazam’s Takeaway Menu I am assuming this is the official Revive recommendation for curry, which Mike and I will soon be trying out. Although it’s only fair to warn you, our previous favourite from Skipton is going to be tough to beat.
So there you have the Revive Survival Kit. I hope it has been educational. If you want to know more about Revive, please do get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.