Tuesday, March 03, 2009

The Ideal Church - let me hear your views

is a pretty unlikely concept...All of us, I'm sure, have thought time and again,
"If I were designing the perfect means to enable God's people to join in God's mission to the world - I wouldnt start from here."
On Saturday, A began the away-day by asking us to imagine what we would commission if given the funding to create a picture of "the church".It was interesting to hear some of the suggestions; pretty much all of those which were shared included the building, with more or less emphasis on the people too. I didnt know whether to smile or weep at the image of a church with many hands reaching out to draw (or drag?) others in...it was too reminiscent of the way that church buildings can operate as a vortex sucking us all in & draining our energies.

However, one of the hopes for the day was that the two church councils would begin to see the greater calling of the Church - & we have planned to work with this theme through a sermon series supported by a four session Lent course.
So. I need material to prompt our thoughts on
The Praying Church
The Learning Church
The Caring Church and
The Sharing Church.

I had been SO looking forward to spending last week reading around & planning the sessions - but life intervened rather - so now I'm canvassing suggestions for
key readings (Scriptural or otherwise), anecdotes & inspiring questions - particularly in relation to the praying & learning themes. I'm deeply frustrated - I so wanted to create someting that would absolutely chime with the needs & experiences of my two communities - but as it is, I'm treading the well worn path to "get by with a little help from my friends". Hopeful thanks in advance


JP said...

My bishop (Derby) recently talked to all us curates about his vision for the church as being a bit like medieval monasteries:

- the Chapel at the centre (worship at the heart);
- then the Chapter house (forming a community, talking to one another);
- next the Cloister (the place where we study and learn about our faith;
- finally the Curtilage (4 Cs!) - the monastic outbuildings (the place where we engage with the needs of the world).

You could argue with the some of the underlying assumptions of this, but I found it helpful and evocative - it resonated with me.

David said...

Have emailed you some stuff. Hope its useful, David

beard_wendy said...


Jane Leach spoke at the Methodist Holiness and Risk conference. Her talk is on audio at above address. She spoke of church, "are we trying to think outside the box from inside a tomb" A myriad of ideas and threads which inspired me and many. Hope it helps.

Grace thing said...

Diana Butler Bass has some good stuff in her "Christianity for the Rest of us". The chapters are divided up into good categories of church as.... I found it very helpful.