Monday, October 09, 2006

Email to 'Godparents'

Dear 'supporting friends' (a.k.a. godparents),

I'm sorry to have been so quiet about the impending ceremony (oops, not really meant to use the word ceremony, but you know what I mean) for Barnaby and Amelia. As far as I am aware, you are all able to attend (bar one).

It's been a difficult time for me recently, with going back to work and with Amelia starting nursery and somehow, October seems to have suddenly crept up upon me, so I am sorry that you are only getting this email now, detailing what is to take place.

I thought that I had better begin to let you know what to expect.

Date: Sunday 22nd October, 2006

Location: The Quaker Centre
1 Oakley Gardens
Downhead Park
Milton Keynes
MK15 9BH

Directions by road:

From M1 Junction 14

Take A509 towards Milton Keynes. At first roundabout (Northfield) take 3rd exit on to A509 (H5 Portway).
Over 2 further roundabouts. At North Overgate roundabout turn right on to Overstreet (V9), right again into Fairford Crescent, then immediately right into Oakley Gardens. The Quaker Centre is on the corner on your right. Please park considerately.

From the A5.
Turn off at the A509, over 6 roundabouts. Turn left at North Overgate roundabout onto Overstreet (V9), right again into Fairford Crescent, then immediately right into Oakley Gardens. The Quaker Centre is on the corner on your right. Please park considerately.

Or, you can find a map at:

(Lifts to/from Luton airport/Milton Keynes Railway Station available. Please ask)

Essentially, the usual meeting for worship will take place at 10:30 and will last until 11:30. Barnaby and Amelia will be attending this for the first 15 minutes only, after which they will leave to attend the 'children's group' for the rest of the hour. At 11:30 there will be a chance for a cup of tea and a chat. Then the meeting for Barnaby and Amelia will begin at 12:00 and will be a shortened meeting that will last about 30 minutes.

If you can manage it (time and travel-wise) I think that it would be easiest if you could manage to arrive in time to attend the 10:30 meeting for worship, as there is only a short half-hour gap between the two meetings, which doesn't leave much time (to arrive, say hello etc.). If you do attend the first meeting, with children, they will be very welcome to join the 'children's group' (mostly drawing/stories). Please let me know when you intend to arrive.

The format of the meeting is that it will last 30 minutes. The meeting will be partially structured/partially silent. It will begin with a general introduction given by one of the Friends from the meeting (possibly a reading from Quaker Faith and Practice).

After a short period of silence, Sheep and/or I will be probably say something (t.b.c.). Then this will be followed by a brief period during which each of the six 'supporting friends' (three for Barnaby, three for Amelia) may say something in turn (or not, should you wish to remain silent). Just to give you an idea of the kind of thing that you might wish to say, this following text is adapted from the Humanist naming/welcoming ceremony,

"I formally accept a commitment to Barnaby/Amelia [one or the other], to offer friendship and sanctuary, so that s/he can turn to me in times of doubt or difficulty with confidence and trust."

Should you wish to think of your own promises to Barnaby and Amelia, this would be lovely. The above text is simply to help you get started, should you want to say something different, or as a fallback, should you wish to use it.

After all of us have made our promises, the meeting will conclude with another period of silence (although, in the spirit of Quaker worship, there may be additional contributions) after which Elders will close the Meeting.

Once the meeting has concluded, it is our intention to celebrate with chocolate cake, which we will provide (you are, of course, more than welcome to bring a contribution!) which will be served in the meeting house and everyone is more than welcome to join us in its consumption.

After this, it is my proposal that those of the supporting friends and immediate family who wish to go out for Sunday lunch should then leave for Sunday lunch. My initial suggestion is that we should come back to our house for lunch (please confirm if you would like to do this).

I trust that this is clear. Please contact me if you have any questions.


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