We Are Church – An Extended Family that Gathers & Scatters
We are glad to be able to gather again – without the need to book, without restrictions, without the need to stay apart. We are still encouraging masks, though it is not compulsory. It is a delight to see member’s faces as they meet up again after so long, and come together as church.
Our gatherings are important to us. They are like an extended family coming together: young, old, all shapes and all sizes! We gather because we are united by the work of God’s Spirit, sharing a common belief and having a desire to be together as God’s people. We are covenanted together with a common aim and purpose that kept us united even through the hardest months of lockdown.
We can easily think of 6 reasons to gather together (see the cartoons below!). To be together in God’s presence is a precious thing – that tangible sense of God among us was sorely missed in the pandemic times. The importance and benefit of gathering sits alongside the importance of our individual or family discipleship. This in turn sits alongside our mission pursued through individual initiatives and small settings – which we were able to learn and build on during the pandemic.
Our gatherings are important, but they are not the be all and end all of who we are or what we do! The church is people following Jesus in His Purposes. This applies both gathered and when we are scattered in our different homes, locations and activities. In fact so important is our discipleship and mission out in everyday life that our gatherings are actually something of a paradox:
We gather to scatter … and in our scattered activity we gather!
In other words when we come together, we affirm and minister to one another with the presence of God felt keenly among us. This enables us to learn together and receive fresh vision, direction and commission for our mission that takes place out there, in the community, i.e. when we are scattered. Our gatherings therefore propel us back out! In those diverse locations and settings we are pleased to help people discover Jesus, and explore faith with them. As they find faith and learn to follow Jesus, we encourage them to join with us, to be part of the extended family – in other words to gather.