Saturday, May 02, 2009

waltham gathering gathers

Over the last months, as a church, we’ve had some real joy in terms of our relationships with our local community. There’s an ever increasing sense of partnership with other local groups. There are church people choosing to work less in order to voluntarily serve amongst the needy. There are more local community folk part of our church life, saying yes to Jesus and journeying with us.

A lot of this is down to the goodness of God’s Spirit at work in the intentionality of our mission, in which we have deliberately put resource and focus into building these partnerships.

Throughout the early months of this year a lot of behind the scenes talk and prayer has been happening. Given this sense of God at work, what are the next steps?

As a result, the Waltham gathering kicked off on Thursday. About 14 people gathered, not at the church, but at the local community cottage. It was a mix of church folk and community folk, and they gathered around soup, scripture, discussion and prayer for healing. It’s a trial for 10 weeks, to see if this might provide a point around which discipling and caring can happen, in a way different from our current church services.

We’re not sure whether it’s a small group or a congregation, so we’re simply calling it a “gathering”, and we’ll see what happens and if it can take root as a genuinely Waltham community thing. My job was to bring the soup, and just to be present.

There are other things taking shape, including the possibility of a sort of voluntary local missionary order, a clear pathway by which people might decide to work a day less in order to serve more, and to do that in accountable partnership with others and Scripture. But that’s still taking shape.

Posted by steve at 01:16 PM

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