Things have been a bit busy and so recently I have not been blogging so much here except a few rants.
So I want to return to a more positive view and the Worship Group Meeting that happened this evening at Syston Methodist Church is an excellent example.
A great atmosphere with lovely constructive people who don't want to just talk but get on and together listen and respond to God in the worship life of this Church and Circuit.
We reviewed what has happened and worked through a packed calendar for the next few months. I am still getting my head around what it means to be a minister in a larger and very active Church with lots of people who are capable and committed to responding to God's call in this community.
What is more that is not just true of the Worship Group (and it is a large group of Worship Leaders, Local Preachers, Junior Church Leaders, Musicians, Stewards etc) but also of the Business Committee who met last week, the group that work with Churches Together (and they too have a lot planned), the Stewards and lots of other teams that I have not yet met with.
Anyway, how about this for a nice problem. We had to spend a while thinking about how to make the Church look less full on a Sunday morning We are concerned that it has reached that level of fullness which could mean that visitors might be put off by trying to find seats. Yippeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!
But if you are thinking of trying Syston Methodist Church out on a Sunday morning, don't panic. Our Door Stewards will not just welcome you but they will also make sure they find a seat for you (yes, with the people you come with).
In a full Church some care is needed with the mayhem I have been enjoying creating with the kids running around. Last Sunday, the kids were racing up and down to win a bar of Chocolate – sadly I ate it before they finished the race. See Habakkuk 1:1-4 for why (and don't worry, all the kids got to choose chocolate from the Traidcraft stall after the service). At the Harvest Festival they were running around collecting an Idea Harvest from the rest of the congregation. Fortunately, having aisles wide enough for a rapid safe exit in case of fire is useful for active all age worship :-)
One of the other areas that excited me in the Worship Group was the response to what the Churches Together team are planning for Christmas, they were enthusiastic and challenging in their desire to take worship out into the Community this Christmas. That will include supporting a number of events the Council are arranging as well as a carol pub crawl and a local tradition of a Carol Service in the Town Square (with mince pies etc afterwards at the Methodist Church.
Some of the other things happening are:
- Following a successful trial last year at Birstall we are having a circuit wide series of blessings for Advent, to bring to a close the focus for the last year of "Time to Pray". There are two workshops to prepare for this (2:30pm on 26th Oct at Claremont St Methodist Church and 7:30pm on 28th Oct at Syston Methodist Church).
- We are joining our Girls Brigade for their enrolment service on Tuesday 26th October, dunno what we will be doing but there were several volunteers tonight to help with that.
- A good reaction to the mid week advent services happening around the Circuit (we all get to lead worship in each others Churches). I'll have to find a better way of picking between the fellowship groups eager volunteer for things rather than just picking the next one to meet
- I think I lost count after about 6 Carol services for different groups from Rotary Club, to schools, to residential homes, to pubs, …
- The idea of a gentle walk to an afternoon service on Boxing Day in Watermead Park, maybe with mulled wine & nice bread for Communion seems popular. We will be finding out if it is possible over the next few weeks.
- Good interest in the Circuit 4 week series for Just Walk Across the Room starting on January 23rd (at Syston we are going to finish it with a Back to Church Sunday on Feb 20th)
- We also decided that as Churches Together in Syston are joining in with The Big Read for Lent 2011 that we would use this for our Sunday Services in Lent as well. Follow #bigread2011 on twitter for more.
My only problem at the moment is managing to put things into my diary fast enough while keeping track of the people volunteering. It is a tough life