One of the big questions about “church” is where does church happen? In the building, in the street? Or is it in both? To find the answer to this and similar questions, the best place to look is scripture and when we look there, we find that Jesus did in fact go to both the temple (church) and out in the streets. Jesus spent a lot of time talking to religious leaders and he did of course spend time with ordinary people, individually and with the crowds.
What we learn from this is that the life of faith is lived both in obviously churchy stuff like prayer, worship, bible study and also in the life of the community; for if we only ever do the former we become a holy huddle and the latter only, we simply replicate lots of other good works. Jesus showed us that in fact church life and community life each inform the other and each then grows in strength and effectiveness. For how might we know what to pray about if we don’t know the community? And how might we read the signs and needs of a community if we haven’t spent time listening to the voice of scripture?
At St George’s there are some new initiatives this year already which tap into this cross over between church and community. For some weeks now, the Youth Hub has been meeting on Tuesday evenings, 5.30 – 7pm in the church room. Led by our Pioneer Partner Sharon and Church Warden Paul, the Hub is for Year 5 students upwards. They spend time listening to and playing music, eating pizza, thinking about being a Christian, table tennis, more pizza and yesterday, doing things with buckets of water – some of them went home very wet (sorry about that). The older members are exploring drama and now St George’s is WiFi enabled (hurray) might we be streaming stuff? Watch this space.
And then there’s Shine! This happens on the third Tuesday monthly from 10.30ish to midday. Shine! is a creative/sewing/crafting group for all ages and abilities. You can learn a new skill or bring along something you know well and the activities include darning to book folding to banner making. We always end with a prayer and most people stay for the Tuesday soup lunch.
But this isn’t all; there is the long running men’s breakfast on the first Saturday monthly, 9 – 10am, with time to chat and sometimes a speaker. And a big well done! to The Vine and the new initiative called “The Hangar” along the lines of the men’s sheds movement. I’m sure Nigel will be telling us more in due course. And recalling the question I began with, prayer remains hugely important to the life of St George’s so we now also have Generate! A weekly prayer meeting on a Wednesday morning. More details from Don Gee.
The cross over between church and community has never gone away, but perhaps we all need reminding of it from time to time – you are very welcome to come along.