A couple of comments on the last post deserved a bit more thought than a comment in my own comments - I'm still not sure where is the correct place to continue discussions on one's own blog when others have taken the conversation on a step or two forward and I'm not consistent, I know...but this time, here's a follow up.
Having had a specially disappointing turn out of families for his Pentecost cafe church (which sounded really good - but that's not something you ever notice when you're the one wondering where assorted semi-regulars are, as I know too well) Dr Moose was musing further about the residual connection between public holidays and Christian festivals here in England. Like the question of when to celebrate major festivals that don't happen on Sundays (Ascension, Epiphany et al), this isn't quite as straightforward as it might seem. I'm thinking specially of Easter, because this year the decision of Gloucestershire schools to break up on Maundy Thursday meant, yes, alot of hard work for choristers, servers etc who were involved in Holy Week services but also that it was perfect timing for inviting local schools to the Experience Easter Trail,- which was a great success right across the diocese. At last year's Greenbelt, FabBishop led a seminar on the need for the church to make the most of any possible connections with what, for want of a better phrase, we could call the Hallmark Calendar. He advocated a recovery of as many festive moments as possible in the year, - on the basis, I guess, that people are more likely to turn up to church if they know that, for example, the way the saints light up the world will be celebrated by fireworks after the Eucharist at All Saints tide...Mind you, he really believes in the attractional power of liturgy done well, - which works in the right places (I think Ch Kings may well be one of them) but would be pretty meaningless in many a context. No conclusions, but I think it might help to keep revisiting the questions.
In another response, Caroline Too suggested that " 'attendance' is an illusion of church family not a genuine aid to family making"...which is probably true. But the question then becomes, how do you forge genuine community? If Anglicanism allows for too much diversity (praise God!) for it to be simply founded on a shared body of belief set against those of others, and if being together celebrating the Eucharistic feast still allows some to feel distant, not fully connected...what is the trigger for building real family? Perhaps it's shared experience and corporate memory - which works in a settled community (and may indeed be what creates the family ties that do exist at St M's) but is harder to achieve in a more mobile context.
If you feel your church "works" as family, what makes the difference?