Friday, July 02, 2010

Friday Five: I want to be part of a church that.....

Sally writes

This has been a good week for British Methodism, The Annual Conference has discussed and debated many things and not shied away from some difficult stuff. New Ministers have been Ordained and received into Full Connexion. Add to that the fact that two amazing ladies; Alison Tomlin and Eunice Attwood have taken up their posts as President and Vice-President for 2010/2011- and that they have both inspired us in their speeches and preaching , and you begin to get the picture.

In the Vice- Presidents Address Eunice gave an inspiring account of the type of church she wants to be a part of, almost poetic she said:

I want to be part of a church that is prayer-filled -
A church that is resourced and sustained by the Bible,
A church that can offer hope even in a credit crunch,
A church that can live well with difference and diversity.


I want to be part of a church that welcomes the wealthy, those who have power and influence -
A church that knows how to party and celebrate life,
A church that acknowledges death and speaks boldly of resurrection,
A church that doesn’t pretend to have all the answers but encourages all the questions.

I want to be part of a church that throws parties for prostitutes -
A church that welcomes those who seek asylum,
A church that longs and yearns for justice,
A church that listens to those no-one else wants to listen to.

I want to be part of a church that believes in transformation not preservation -
A church where all who are lost can be found,
A church where people can discover friendship,
A church where every person takes responsibility in sharing the good news.

I want to be part of a church whose hope is placed securely and confidently in the transforming love of God -
A church that engages faith in its communities,
A church that makes and nurtures disciples of Jesus.

A church where the story of God’s love is at the centre.
I want to be part of a church that offers outrageous grace, reckless generosity, transforming love and engaging faith.
This is God’s story Transforming Love: Engaging Faith.

My prayer is that by the power of the Spirit of God at work amongst us, it will increasingly be our story.


I want to be part of that church to, and at the danger of trying to add to such a wonderful litany of dreams/ visions and prayers I wonder which five things would you echo from or add to this. What kind of church do you want to be a part of in the 21st Century?

Simply list the five, and as an added bonus is there a hymn of a Bible passage that you would make your inspiration?

I want to be part of a church that affirms and welcomes the ministry of men and women, straight and gay, in whatever vocation God calls them to...

I want to be part of a church that offers an open table where all may feast on the Bread of Life

I want to be part of a church that understands that she is only true to herself when she forgets herself in reaching out to those who will never come to her

I want to be part of a church that isn't afraid to give sacrificially...a church that knows that there IS enough love to go round

I want to be part of a church that realises that everything with God is whole and holy, that there is no special pleading for those within the walls

In summary, as I've surely said before 

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.

Kate Compston

6 comments:

Mavis said...

Inspiring and challenging post. Thanks

Erin said...

amen!

Sally said...

wonderful Kathyrn- love the Kate Compston quote :-)

Minnie said...

No mention of their condemnation of Israel?Or of the fact that it is apparently fine to have a crack at Israel but not, e.g. Sudan ... or Egypt ... or Turkey or ... (pick your own country, there's plenty of choice) where Christians are persecuted?
Israel has its faults, but we CAN talk about them. We are not issued with death threats (or worse) for doing so.
Methodism is a form of Christianity? Ah, then if I were a Christian in one of those countries I wouldn't hold my breath while waiting for help from that source.

Kathryn said...

Y Minnie, but there's ALWAYS more that we could and should do to be agents of the Kingdom...it's just that we're rather c*** at it :(
I don't think omissions are a sign of disregard, when there are only 5 things we can list...

iPriest said...

O Bravo! Had a lovely conversation last week with a Bishop who knew you and spoke so highly of the wonderful things you are doing in the Lord's name: well done.