Sitting in the Church Office, surrounded by boxes, black bags and as yet unresolved chaos – what to write? And my mind wanders ……
Have you noticed how ‘decluttering’ continues to be a live topic for so many of us? For some the issue arises from a need for the latest equipment or that new thing – often only a click away. But for others it is about holding onto those things that we’ve always had and are comfortable with – that we ‘might need’ one day.
Having recently been through this process personally it is now interesting to see a similar process within a church. Resources, books, artefacts from past generations – what to let go of and what to keep? ‘For everything there is a season’ …. says the writer of Ecclesiastes. What is no longer fit-for-purpose? What do we need for this current season?
And here I pause and consider the wider implications – especially for those who grew up in post-war Britain. Communication, technical advances, medical science – where to begin? Yet somehow it is easy for us to forget that what worked 50 years ago – language, thought processes and the way we communicate has changed. Our own lives have changed. Why then do we expect our expressions of Church to be the same?
We may know very well that God’s Church is God’s people – not the building. But far harder is to understand what that means in today’s world – what does it look like – and how do we get there? If only we KNEW where we were going! If only we knew what we are called to do and be – then perhaps it would be easier?
Books and theories abound but in the end I believe, like Abraham and so many of those who have gone before us, we must be open to new opportunities – willing to learn and move on from the past, accepting that we do not know our destination – only that our God is with us.
It is not enough to sing it week by week …… let us believe it and live it!
So every day we’re on our way,
For we’re a travelling, wandering race;
We’re the people of God’
Rev Angela Hughes