Celebrating May 1st in Créteil

May 1st or May Day is celebrated around the world, but it has particular significance to the French. First and foremost, it’s a day off because it is the « Fete du Travail » or Labor Day. It is also a day of demonstrations to campaign for workers rights and other social issues.

But May Day isn’t all protests and political events. It’s also about flowers and is often called the « Fête du Muguet ». That is because on May 1st in 1561, France’s King Charles IX was given a muguet flower (lily of the valley) as a lucky charm and liked it so much that he decided to offer them each year to the ladies of the court.

These days, the muguet flowers are sold in bouquets on the street and people offer them to friends or family members for good luck.  They are also a sign of renewal, with the arrival of spring.

Renewal is also present in our community in Créteil, and the Easter service celebrated a week ago was a strong sign of this, primarily because it was a reminder of what God has done for us by sending his only Son, but also of what God is doing for Créteil by constantly sending more believers to praise and worship His name together each Sunday.  This year, Easter Sunday took place during the spring vacation period for the schools and inspite of this, the parish centre was full on Easter Sunday.  To celebrate Holy Communion, we went outside in the back yard of the parish centre because the room where we were meeting was too full. We give glory to God for this wonderful day in His presence !

Tekst: Mary Schwartz Rakotovao

 

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News from Créteil

For a reminder, the church in Créteil was planted two years ago,  in 2014.  The community is steadily growing and  we have had the joy of experiencing  our first confirmations and baptisms in 2016.   Three young people were confirmed on Pentecost Sunday in May.   And our first two baptisms took place in July and September.  The first person to be baptized was a small one year old boy, Jayden.  And the second person was a 10 year old girl, Rébéka, who had asked to be baptized. These different occasions were filled with great joy for the families of the baptized as well as for the members of our young church. Our church musicians were faithfully present for the ceremonies and accompanied  worship songs from France, Madagascar and Cameroon to praise God for these new children in His church.

As Christmas is drawing near, we will soon be starting the preparation of the Christmas services with the children and youth of the church.    This is also a special time to witness in the neighborhood where we are located.   On the second Sunday of each month, we have an open doors service which begins outside, in front of the center, with church members serving coffee to those who pass by.  Free pamphlets of the gospels are also available.

Thank you so much for your prayers and support.

Tekst: Mary Schwartz Rakotovao

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