gathering pt 5 : the start of our rhythm …

Yesterday our fledgling community gathered again for the fifth time.

We caught up with each other and shared a little about our summers. We welcomed a new person who had heard about us. We shared communion together and prayed together using incense as a symbol of our prayers rising to God. The children seemed to really enjoy the way we shared communion and the incense prayers. I think the adults did as well.

We then shared with each other what we think church/Christian community should contain. This is the first stage to us as a group developing our rhythm, or rule. of life. WE have already stated that we do not wish to develop a statement of belief as this gives an impression of exclusivity, which is something we are definitely not about. I was intrigued to hear someone suggest that maybe we should have a statement of disbelief … there could be something in that worth exploring!

The stuff we spoke about today was quite key as we tussled with what things meant and how we could do things. For example, one of our values is ‘acceptance’. As we thought about this it became clear this is will mean different things to different people, and is quite a massive concept. How can we, as a community, live authentically to a value of acceptance – is it as simple as saying we accept all. Is that even possible for a group of people to do? Do we need to put boundaries on acceptance – if we do, then is acceptance on our terms really acceptance or are we fooling ourselves to thinking we are inclusive when really we are not? Is there a limit to what we can accept? Was there a limit to what Jesus accepted or did he cross the cultural boundaries of acceptance. If so, what does that mean for us living in 21st century Kent?

Today was exciting, key and amazing. I think we all went away feeling we are further along the journey of this discovery that we have embarked upon – but it’s clear from today that we have a lot more thinking, mulling over, praying, tussling, talking and exploring to do.

That scares me quite a lot but it’s pretty exciting too! I’m not entirely sure where I go with all this next though ….

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