The gifts of friendship: sharing experience and knowledge

I’ve enjoyed a particularly sociable week!  Patchwork has been wrapped around and even threaded through some of these social occasions.

Wednesday morning was the first in this terms fortnightly meetings of Focus – a women’s Bible study group at Church.  Of course, being a group of 40 or so women meeting together, there is ample opportunity to chat, drink tea or coffee and eat cake before and after the core part of the meeting!  One of the aspects of Focus that I really value is the mix of women present, from young mums to grandmothers, mature Christians full of gentle, godly wisdom alongside enquiring seekers setting out on a spiritual journey and all of us in between, learning and sharing together.

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Thursday dawned cloudy and pretty chilly but full of promise as that special day a group of quilters hold a monthly sew-in located in the beautiful Candover Valley here in north Hampshire.  I took along a barely started project based on a design in Carrie Nelson’s book ‘Schnibbles times two’.  I bought the Moda, Collections for a Cause Community charm packs a month ago on International Quilters Day and determined to use them rather than just gazing at them!

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As the day progressed my quilt top began to take shape and the sun came out.  We ate lunch sat on the terrace looking across the Valley watching a crew of workmen resurfacing the road (that meant a slow drive home to reduce the number of chippings scratching  paintwork!) while a red kite was chased away by crows protecting their nests.

 

A slow drive home was no problem though!  It gave time to see lambs in the fields, hedgerows greening up, oil seed rape already a waving mass of bright yellow and best of all the blue/purple haze of bluebells just beginning to open under the woodland trees 🙂

This is a photo my husband took last year of the bluebells at Hatchlands Park.
This is a photo my husband took last year of the bluebells at Hatchlands Park.

Meeting at Focus and the quilting sew-in among the other times shared with friends this week makes me reflect: what a joy it is to have been created social beings!  We don’t all need to be the life and soul of a group or even feel comfortable in large gatherings but we can all be blessed by sharing time and experiences with others.  I particularly enjoy being in groups of people with a common interest but with a wide range of accumulated knowledge.  The Focus group at Church and the quilt group provide this, both in terms of the chronological age range of the members and in terms of their experience of a common interest – whether it be getting to know God or patchwork and quilting!

Paul gives this advice to Christians in his letter to Titus (2:3-5):

“Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good.  Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no-one will malign the word of God.”

Do you have similar experience of belonging to a group, whether Christian or secular, that provides the opportunity for friendship, sharing and learning?

Allison

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