The visiting speaker was from Kids Alive. It was not the person we were expecting - he is in Haiti - helping the country to recover. The message was simple - if heaven starts on earth then so does hell. Some people live there. Its a place where there is not enough love, food, education, etc to go round. What do we Christians do about it? or more directly what do you as Christ's representative from heaven do to try to rescue people from their hell? Kids Alive run orphanages where otherwise abandoned children are looked after - given food, education and love. Our speaker is one of the results. He was from Lebanon originally, and spoke very good English. He spoke at both the 8am and the 10am service. The talk was basically the same, but very well adapted to the different congregations. He also showed a couple of videos of two children in different locations. They showed us just what a difference can be made. As to his name - when I get the right spelling I'll add it.
The 10am was our occasional parade service - when the uniform groups arrive we often get swamped, and things don't run smoothly. Some of the leaders joined us for breakfast (served in the hall between the services). This service is something we have been trying to improve. This time it went well. All the children knew where to go and which seat they should be in. Enough seats had been reserved. Three additional flags and a mascot were presented this time. Its good to see the uniform groups growing - they had seemed to be in decline. There were also plenty of mothers at the service. As it all ran smoothly it was easier to engage with the service. The talk at this service was very interactive, and the children took a good active role in the discussion.
It is interesting to note that one of the young men I spoke to at the Men's Curry night was also involved with the Scouts. The Curry night was well attended, but there were fewer guests than we have had on previous occasions. Still, it was good to talk to different people and enjoy Indian food (from the local take away).