Just a quick note to put “out there” on the website about our service at 3pm this coming Saturday (9th June) to officially place Paul Smith as the overseer of our fellowship!! All who are keen to see God working in our town and people’s lives are warmly invited to come and share this culmination of sensitive searching of our Father’s will in the life of our church, and especially in the lives of the (still growing) Smith Family (no 4 offspring due next month, hopefully AFTER they get the Manse decorated and move their furniture in!!). We ask you to join us for the service, for celebration eats and drinks afterwards – but most of all to join us in prayer, whether you can attend next Saturday or not, that God will continue leading the work He has started in all our lives, blessing Paul as he learns and applies his new role, and us as we develop ours: especially as he’ll be “Lay” (without formal training) it’s all the more important that we SHARE the vision and practical work with him!
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If you’re at church with us this Sunday, hurrah! But you will find things a bit different from how they normally are.
I will explain: I’ve done a lot of yakking about it, but I’m excited and I’m happy to go over it again. And I want to make sure everyone understands why we’re doing something different.
Because it’s not just for the sake of different. We need a better reason than that to change things – and besides, if we were making this up for its own sake, we’d all be rowing about it.
So here’s the explanation. We’ve always held an all-age service on the third Sunday of the month, and all the house groups have had a go at running it.
One thing we agreed on, was that it’s really tricky to organise a service that’s going to be meaningful to everyone.
Another thing we agreed on, was that we wanted to be together.
Oh and one more: we wanted to do something different.
So Karen and Chris and I got our heads together one day, listened to our hearts and the needs of the people we’d talked to, and came up with some principles for what we’d like to see happen on third Sundays.
- To keep the service (relatively!) simple, so a simple message gets through clearly
- To help everyone feel God’s love better, by being in a smaller space and exploring it along with others who want to be there
- To build relationships across age groups, and to learn from people who aren’t-like-me
- To give each person space to enjoy the bit of worship and study that best fits their personality and learning style
- To spark conversations and relationships that will continue after the day, and spread encouragement
Actually this is a list we could apply to every week’s service!
So what we’re doing is starting and finishing the service sort of normally, but in between, we’re going to break into five different groups, with all different ages mixed together, everybody divided by what they want to do, rather than by their age.
We’ve got a Bible study group, a singing group, a prayer and testimony group, a making group, and a cooking group – they’ll be getting our lunch ready, so when we’ve all come back together at the end, we can then all eat together and continue the conversations. This week it’s a lovely pasta bake with two kinds of bread!
Chris says that once he visited a church and found it locked up tight, because the congregation had all gone to play sports at the local gym. We’re not going that far. And there’s no competition here yet (sorry all you guys who wanted a football group!
It will grow as it goes, and so will we. Thanks for all your encouraging words. We can’t wait to see you there!