On a beautiful Autumn morning I sit watching the sun rays dance across the water listening to the soft singing of the breeze passing through the trees. I have arrived early to the meeting spot that in ten minutes time will be filled with warm greetings, the excited shouts of children and an atmosphere of unconditional acceptance and love. I am awaiting the start of our monthly Family Group get together.
While I sit and wait I reflect on the last two or so years that our group has been together. We are perhaps one of the newest Family Groups in the Frenchs Forest Parish. It took us a little while to get the group going and in the early days it felt at times that this group would never really establish itself, that it might turn out to be a failed venture. Using one of Fr Peter’s favourite phrases, “whoever comes is meant to be there…. we would go ahead with planned activities even if there were only 2 or 3 families coming. We never cancelled an activity.
Over the last 2 years we have had two weekends away to Gerringong, celebrated Christmas in July in the church kitchen, played tennis, gone on bushwalks, had coffee together after Mass, shared picnics and BBQ dinners, played a few board games and have come to know one another through sharing meals and lots of laughter. One of my favourite memories of my group so far was our first weekend to Gerringong. We decided on the Saturday night that everyone would bring a dish to share for a feast. And oh, my goodness did we have a feast! There was so much food. We have become better at planning out our feasts after that first gestational bonanza. Even though we tend to over cater I think food and the sharing of a meal is an essential part of making a family group work.
I hear familiar voices traipsing through the park towards me and soon I am enveloped in a warm hug from one of our family group leaders. A new family has joined us today, I hope they see the joy, warmth and belonging a family group brings to your life. We have all brought a picnic breakfast and as we sit around to eat together I look around at these kind-hearted, friendly faces and feel blessed that I have these people in my life.
St. Anthony in the Fields, Terrey Hills