Sunday 13th September, 2015

Welcome to everyone joining us for our Op-Shop Community Sunday. Like each of our Missional Communities, the Op-Shop forms an invaluable bridge between our church and the community it serves. But actually, it is healthier to see the Op-Shop AS THE CHURCH, functioning in the community. They represent Christ, AND ALL OF US, to the customers, volunteers and nearby traders.

So it is a treat each month hearing their stories, learning about their faith being lived out amongst the people we have all been called to. It’s just like the old deputations from overseas missionaries. Some years ago we talked about seeing ourselves no longer as a Parish Church but a Local Mission Agency. And this is what it looks like:

The Mission of the Op-Shop – their OUT, happens Monday to Saturday and they are brilliant at it. What happens when they lead one of these Sunday gatherings as that WE join their mission by offering both UP (worship and spiritual nourishment) & IN (fellowship, encouragement and support).

That is our job as we gather for each of the Missional Community Sundays – to learn from the scriptures and pray with and for each other, yes, but also to intentionally invest our time and relationships with each member of our church who is on mission – whether individually or as one of our Missional Communities. It is a vital role for each of us to play.

I love it when once a month, at our Celebration Services, we get to sing praises to God, (helped by our musicians,) and have the opportunity to go a little deeper in our understanding of the Word and enjoy the sacraments together. But increasingly I am also appreciating the way these other Sundays are providing us all with a means to be actively involved in the whole mission of our church.

Next Sunday, we will get the chance to discuss this whole experimental process during a conversation after our St Matthew’s Day lunch. I hope that you will stay for both lunch and conversation – it will be an important time for our church!

Don’t forget – please put your name down on the sheet so we know how many to cater for! Thanks, and God bless,   Ian.