I read a column by George Monbiot recently in The Guardian Weekly, commenting on the way digital technology and contemporary urban culture are moving us further and further from actual tangible experience … with significant consequences. ‘It is no longer rare to meet adults who have never swum except in a swimming pool, never slept except in a building, never run a mile or climbed a mountain, never been stung by a bee or a wasp, never broken a bone or needed stitches. Without a visceral knowledge of what it is to be hurt and healed, exhausted and resolute, freezing and ecstatic, we lose our reference points. Climate change, distant wars, the erosion of democracy, resurgent fascism – in our temperature-controlled enclosures, all can be reduced to abstractions’. These insights caused me to pause and reflect deeply.

They also caused me to be all the more grateful. The reason is called ‘The Mess’, and it has a home at St. Andrew’s. Three days a week individuals break out of virtual reality and social isolation to seek human community and enjoy the experience of tangible creativity. It is a wonderfully healing and hope-filled place/people. This Sunday Sandi Dodds shares with us some of the biblical imperatives and personal joys of ‘The Mess’.

Join us if you are in the area. There is parking along the streets and in a public surface lot just behind the church off Queen Street. A nursery for infants and a programme for children is offered during the service. Have an advance peak at the Order of Service, and please consider each of the announcements that follow a personal invitation to join in Christian faith, community and service.

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