Our May 2019 church magazine in now available. There are articles here on the recent Muslim Christian Forum and route details for the walk around our Benefice Boundary. The walk is about 12 miles long and will take place on Saturday May 4th. There’s also information about our Christian Aid lunch and Formby Retreat as well as all the normal news, views and diary dates.
Please follow this link to see a copy:
A particularly special date is Wednesday 8th May when Jim Metcalf will be talking to the Open Group about his work with Community Action Nepal. This is a charity founded by Doug Scott CBE. Jim will also be sharing some of his stunning mountain photography. Please do come along and bring a friend.
The magazine also has this thought provoking letter from our Reader, Darren Dunn…
Stay in or go out?
So the question that we are probably still asking ourselves is should we stay in or should we go out? Are we safer in a place that we already know or should we go out there and see where it may lead?
Now before you all do a collective sigh, I’m not talking about the B word; no, I’m talking about the Church.
You see there is a lot of discussion at the moment about growing our Church’s congregations. And one of the big questions is whether we take ourselves out into the world to encourage people or we wait for people to come to us. If we do the latter I think, if we are honest with ourselves, that it probably won’t work. How many new people can we honestly say walk in off the street on a Sunday just to see what is going on.
The counter argument though is to go out into the world and teach our message to others and hopefully encourage people to come and see our faith and God’s love for us. Yes I suspect that it can be daunting to go out and declare our faith in public but if we want to encourage growth then I feel we must become more visible in our communities.
Not our property
I will leave you with two small examples I have seen today whilst having just played Jesus in the walk of witness through Bury town centre. I was walking back to my car with my alb on and covered in fake blood, when a young man asked me was I a Christian and if so could I spare a while to sit and talk to him about his beliefs as he was searching for answers. Secondly when I was halfway up the Rock a shop-keeper came out and said “that cross you was carrying earlier looked heavy. Here, I got this bottle of water out of my fridge for you”.
As I said, should we stay in or go out? Maybe my examples are only two small events that took place on one afternoon. But if we hadn’t been out there showing our faith to others then the young man wouldn’t have been able to chat openly in the garden with me. And I would have missed the act of kindness by the shopkeeper who had watched us walk past.
Jesus is not our property to be hidden in our Church buildings and make us feel good about ourselves. No, Jesus is for everyone and I personally feel we the Church need to take Jesus out more in the communities and maybe see where it leads to. So the rhetorical question we must all ask ourselves should be “stay in or go out?”
God bless, Darren
[For more about St John with St Mark’s Church please follow this link]