Tag-Archive for » church «

When LankyAnglican posted this link the other day, I thought I’d not got around to noting my fascination with these new atheist churches, but that was not the case (not that I can’t remember what I did two months ago at all…)

I find it at one and the same time depressing and comforting, frustrating and challenging to hear that the 35s are going to not-church whilst self-defining as spiritual, but not wanting some of our (let’s face it, more conservative, because that’s the kind of church the 30-35 year old age bracket are mostly going to, certainly round here) theology.

When it comes to community though, and welcome and getting together – does the message matter (that is, of course, a moreorless hypothetical question)? Is there not ground for us to gain focusing on the belonging and the behaving while we work on the believing? I am hopeful still, found myself roundly agreeing with the text commentary from Graham Cray’s Fresh Expression talk this weekend – wish I’d been there:

future of churchWe do surely have a ‘package’ to ‘nick’. However, I couldn’t genuinely say our coffee was transcendental unless it’s been made in my new coffee machine (which unless I do it – or in the one week that they’d run out of instant (!)) it hasn’t…I could possibly say it was out of this world, but actually I’ve tasted plenty church coffee which is much much worse. And despite the number of bakers, we don’t offer anything at all like ‘superior cake’ unless it’s left over from someone’s birthday or it’s a special occasion like the patronal.

So where do we go next? Because I’d really like still to be the package they’d like to nick, and not us following their coat-tails. But whilst I fully agree that ‘what we have always done’ may well be a commitment to decline (GC) or indeed, our lack of toilet in church was described last month by the Vicar as ‘suicidal’ today, I tuck one other little thing away: it is our main service that was the package they wanted to nick, not the cafe/skateboard/pub church. There is hope amind the awful coffee. Here’s to digging a present and future-proofed rut…

Be the first to like.
Category: Life  Tags: , ,  Comments off

Still clearing tabs that have been open for a while. The opening of the Sunday Assembly fascinated me. It chimes with comments – apt around this region – about why doesn’t church whip up the kind of energy that football does – constant talk during the week, lots of public profession of belonging, lots of looking forward to coming together at the weekly gathering, excited families and friends going along together, meeting and greeting and welcoming others previously unknown but fully accepted as part of the community because of having the same focus of passion… I wish.

I was fascinated more…

Be the first to like.
Category: Life  Tags: ,  Comments off

Here is my conundrum for the year. Well, not necessarily this year specifically, since it’s been bothering me a while, and frankly, unlikely to be solved at the end of it either… How is it that some churches grow? You know, the sort that are growing, not the sort like mine. There are two things that bother me, when I can reel off a list of all the things they do and that we do, and I can still reckon that if you try to import the one into the other as a package it wouldn’t work, so what is it? It bothers me that it can come down to more…

Be the first to like.
Category: Ramble, Thinks  Tags: , ,  One Comment

I’ve just spent all afternoon working on a structure for a website for my church. It is, after all, pretty necessary these days to have a web presence. For us particularly, it’s made more important by two factors – i) that we’re closing down our ‘office hour’ in September in favour of trying to make information about baptisms etc more widely available, and ii) that someone has a website that people think – understandably – is ours, only it’s not, it’s about the churchyard, and it currently has a nasty virus about which people keep complaining to us…but it is what comes up when you search… more…

Be the first to like.
Category: Life  Tags: , , ,  Comments off

This year’s Christmas crib service at the church in the village was another ‘part for everyone’ affair, this year the different characters being designated by a coloured toilet roll inner, with a long explanation in the service sheet incase anyone wasn’t listening too closely. Obviously, just one blue roll for mary, the white ones were sheep, the white ones with tinsel were angels (bit of scope for confusion) the brown ones were animals and the nearly brown ones were shepherds (ditto…). I think I preferred the little bags of costume from last year, but still a good idea to ferret away. As each set of characters came out to place their toilet roll on the fabric covered boxes, I found myself thinking we could do a lot worse than try and live a nativity… more…

Be the first to like.
Category: Life  Tags: , ,  Comments off

I’ve begun idly (or even actively, or at least idly actively/actively idly) thinking about some differences in the types of church which attract lots and lots of people and the kind that don’t. And in and among squillions of other factors, I’ve been glancing at some websites. Now there’s many a post – and hopefully mission essay – in what traditional churches can learn from mega- or large evangelical churches, and I may say something on buildings soon as part of this pondering, but for now, I’m really struck by the dark themes (I’ve noticed before, but especially seeing it at the moment). more…

Be the first to like.
Category: Life  Tags: , , ,  Comments off

quite strange this week, there’s an overlap of my lives. I have a day off, and would really like to be following both General Synod, the governing body of the Church of England, and BbWorld11, the not-quite governing body of the global Blackboard community. One in York, England, one in Las Vegas (of which there is only one).

After a week of the Methodist annual Conference, where there was a live video stream as well as the twitter stream being projected onto a screen behind the speaker, there has been rounded dissatisfaction with Synod only providing an audio stream – and in a proprietary format that I cannot open – and supposedly not being allowed social media by rule of the University (which may be a separate discussion to be had about universities and student engagement in social media, but surely cannot be expected to extend to outside organisations who hire the rooms for conference – that is up to them whether or not to enable 21st century sharing of their deliberations).

These last words bring my old life and my new crashing together more…

2 people like this post.

I’m still pondering this ‘what kind of church do you want’ question. It’s one I return to regularly without being asked. I feel very strongly called to engage in ministry which focuses community, and has the church at the centre of a community, whether it’s ‘being church’ (whatever that may mean) or not (eg, used for exercise classes). But I do understand that people travel to church for many reasons, including me. I’m not innocent of this, I’ve done it before and I’m doing it now. I’ve wondered more…

Be the first to like.
Category: Life  Tags: ,  Comments off
St Nicholas' Church, Great Yarmouth

St Nicholas' Church, Great Yarmouth

I thought I left thinking about online church behind, but it seems to be raising its head again. This is a slightly random collection of a few things: more…

Be the first to like.