It seems dancing around handbags is alive and well and thriving in Fenham!! Last week we held a fabulous oldies night (that’s the music, not the people!!) in our hall. This was a partnership social with the Search Project. Around 4 times a year we like to try something we think everyone will enjoy – and this time, in answer to many requests, we used music from the 50s 60s and 70s.
At half time we stopped for pies and peas – we’d found a community catering company who did them for the amazing price of £1.50 a head, each portion supplied in it’s own poly box with a knife and fork – so no washing up – hoorah!!!!
We sold all our tickets and could have sold more, and everyone seemed to have a wonderful time, even though it was pointed out that I had forgotten to include any ABBA in the playlist (my bad!) We only had one complaint that the music was too loud – and we even had some brave souls trying out the karaoke.
I read recently that dancing is one of the most effective ways to keep mind and body active into older ages – so not only was everyone having a great time, they were doing their health the world of good too.
There were requests to do it more often – even as often as fortnightly – but having given it some thought, I’ll not. It’s not that it takes much organising, just put together a playlist on the computer and set it away, it’s not that I find it difficult to keep smiling for over 3 hours – because that came naturally watching everyone having such a good time. No; its just that if we do it more often there’s the chance that it might lose its “specialness”, that it might become a chore, that eventually we might struggle to sell tickets – because it is quite possible to have too much of a good thing!
One of our congregation who came along (and there were quite a few) asked me why these people weren’t coming to church as joyfully on a Sunday. It wasn’t a question I expected to hear, possibly because I thought it was obvious – we don’t dance and have pies and peas in church on a Sunday. It became obvious that he expected a serious answer – so I thought about it for a while – and pointed out that firstly, they WERE in church, they were having a good time, they were experiencing “life in all it’s fullness” (John 10.10) – and that indeed if he thought it might be possible for them to see that coming to church on a Sunday might be relevant for them, that perhaps he could try sitting with them and talking to them and making church seem a less scarey place?
It always seems strange to me that those I meet at discos, music events, singing clubs etc are surprised that I work for the church. “No you don’t” is a common reply – and I wonder if that is because they expect church people to be something different? Have we forgotten how to have fun? Do they expect me to be sanctimonious? Do they expect me to be “good”? I don’t really know – but I know that if my questioner wants people to come and sit in church with him on a Sunday, he is going to have to ask them himself!