We are starting to move things out from the Church building and out from the manse. Most of the meetings I have with Worship leaders planning services are now held in Creamers coffee shop. In Raunds we have also moved the regular ministers meetings from the manses to Creamers. The Saturday morning prayer meeting now has breakfast after the prayer time in Cookies (conveniently next door to the chapel) rather than doing their own.
In April we start a new phase of a study group. No proper name yet, although I fancy calling it the "Elephant" group. The reason is that I set the programme for the first few meetings by asking the group "What are the Elephants in the room that we are ignoring, the subjects we don’t talk about because we are worried we won’t agree on?" So far we have:
- Should Methodist ministers serve more than one church?
- Sunday worship styles
- Baptism (infant/adult, sprinkle/immersion etc)
I don’t propose simply ticking these off, once per week. We are going to start with "How we use the Bible in elephant discussions", then we will have a session or two preparing through prayer, then a Bible study on diversity and respect. I suspect that several of these issues are going to take more than one evening anyway.
However, all those details are somewhat irrelevant. I am currently asking myself whether to re-locate this group from the chapel to one of the pubs in Raunds. In some ways I am concerned this is backwards, instead we should put aside these internal questions and simply plant a new congregation in the pub. On the other hand deepening the faith of current members is also important.
H’mm more prayer needed on this one, maybe I’ll go down the pub for that too (once the 24×7 prayer room closes again).
PS Yes I admit it. I have started reading "Organic Church" by Neil Cole