about a church of sensitivity and openness,
a church of healing and welcome.
I'm dreaming about a community of friends
that celebrates differences and diversity and variety,
a community that is forgiving, cherishing, wide open.
I dream of women and men
who minister life and laughter and love;
of men and women who minister healing and harmony and hope;
of women and men who minister to each other
and minister to the crying needs of a world that hurts.
I dream against the rough climb still to come,
against expectation, against pessimism and despair;
I dream, I dream of the clear panorama
of the vision of light right at the top of the mountain.
I dream of a church that joins in with God's laughing
as she rocks in her rapture, enjoying her art:
she's glad of her world, in its risking and growing;
‘tis the child she has borne and holds close to her heart.
I dream of at church that joins in with God's weeping
as she crouches, weighed down by the sorrow she sees;
she cries for the hostile, the cold and no-hoping,
for she bears in herself our despair and dis-ease.
I dream of a church that joins in with God's dancing
as she moves like the wind and wave and the fire;
a church that can pick up its skirts, piroutting,
with the steps that can signal God's deepest desire.
I dream of a church that join in with God's loving
as she bends to embrace the unlovely and lost;
a church that can free, by its sharing and daring,
the imprisoned and poor and then shoulder the cost.
God make us a church that joins in with your living
as you cherish and challenge, rein in and release;
a church that is winsome, impassioned, inspiring;
lioness of your justice and lamb of your peace.
But of course dreams are of very limited value if they remain simply that.I'm in optimistic vein tonight, after some experiences of church that fit rather wonderfully with the dream - so I'm off to do some praying now, recognising that work may well be part of the package too...