Re: Hobbies and mission
That sounds great. Really honest and truly accepting of other's beliefs, I'd say that is inspiring :) I consider myself Christian Universalist, but often get angry at some of the more say hostile to others type of Evangelicals. That feeling just melted away reading about what you do. Because what you are doing is real, and truly useful. Thanks
Re: Location, Location, Location
As so often, Michael, I must agree with you. While I accept that we need to be in a church which fits our personality and that our spiritual needs ought to be met, mature Christians looking for a church shouldn't be thinking about "what we can get from this church" but "what we can offer it". It's not about being consumers but being servants.
(Re. welcome: a funny story from a booklet I've just read, by the Bishop of Carlisle. An off-duty vicar visits a church for the first time; no-one speaks to him. At coffee time everyone forms little groups. Eventually he wriggles his way into one and says that he has been ignored. One person replies: "Oh, I'm on the welcoming team and I would have said something, but it's my Sunday off"!)
Does this mean that the question of whether the gospel is preached and the teaching is biblically sound is not even a consideration? Or is the assumption being made that if it is a church and they use a "bible" all is well (akin to I go to church therefore I am a Christian)?
Firstly, I would never say that going to church makes you a Christian! Nor would I say that Sunday attendance is the only factor as to whether you are part of a church or not. Yes, Bible teaching is vital, BUT maybe Bible teaching is the gap you could fill? Maybe if the church relies on a series of guest preachers, then the Gap that is missing is you?
At the church we are going to at the moment we are hoping that will be the case but hope is fading as they are not getting good teaching from the regular pastor nor will they listen to our suggestions as we are not trained or ordained... There are an alarming number of people (some of whom are members) who are clearly just there for the lovely social time that they have. They do of course believe in God and Jesus and all that but they only come alive whenever football is mentioned in the service! We sometimes feel we should "shake off the dust".
Holidays at Home
I’m pleased that quite a number of Baptist churches have taken up the idea of holding a “Holiday at Home.”
This is where older people - who may be lonely or not able to get a holiday – go to a local church during the day. For about three days - depending on available resources - a church puts on activities for older guests to enjoy. These can include arts & crafts, music, food, singing and table games. One Holiday at Home group were treated to a dance display by children from a local dance school. The helpers are using their creativity & one idea put forward is gentle movement & dance, which can be done standing or sitting - to joyful melodic Christian praise songs. They can use colourful easy to make ribbon shakers or
pom-pom shakers. Comments from people who’ve taken part in a Holiday at Home shows that they really enjoyed it and found it a welcome break.