What is happening with PMC?

Well, quite a lot actually.
During the soup lunch in January you all produced a list of things you thought important about our congregational life and worship. Armed with that the PCC and PMC steering group attended a joint away day with the Church of the Good Shepherd from Widmer End. (Well, they had an away day, we had a stay at home day!) After a joint worship session, the 2 churches worked individually, firstly refining the 2½ pages of your thoughts into 17 points of concern / possible development. The rest of the day was spent discussing and further refining these ideas until we came up with just one. Our final adaptive challenge statement is “Being the Parish Church by creating a place of engagement for a group of people having difficulties facing life’s challenges”. It seems quite woolly, but then again at this stage it is meant to be.
The day itself was full of drive and energy, meaningful discussion and enthusiasm, but ended with us all feeling tired and flat. On reflection, in the days following, we all came to realise our interpretation of where the challenge was leading us was all wrong. We were not engaged and had the feeling it was not where God was calling us to be. So, back to the drawing board.
Discussions are still on-going and we seem seem to be getting closer to deciding what our challenge is that we want to run with next year. We are thinking along the lines of inclusivity, dementia, mental health, poverty, food deprivation, drugs. Over the summer we plan to talk to “people of peace”, and this is where we could do with your help and involvement.
People of peace are those people we come across in the community who are on our side, or even just not against us. They might just offer a smile or join in conversation. They might help us to discern where we should be helping in the community. They might show us how to bridge the gap between church and community and they might even join with us in our venture. Whoever they are we need you to talk to them – neighbour, shop keeper, work colleague, the person sitting next to you on the bus, volunteers in numerous activities. Where do their interests and priorities lie? What do they think the issues are? Can we work with them, they with us? Do they have a point of view we had not considered? If you meet and talk to someone you think could be just such a person of peace, please tell someone on PCC or PMC about your conversation and we could maybe follow it up. Thanks.
So, for the coming year – We will continue with Dwelling in the Word. We are leaving the Luke text behind us as we enter this, our second year of PMC. I will miss it. It is said that the more you dwell in the Word, the more it dwells in you and there is so much that seems to happen in life that I can relate back to Luke 10. The passage for the coming year will be Corinthians 4:1-12. The conversations we would like you to have with the people of peace is known as Dwelling in the World – we need everyone to try to get involved in that. Over a 6-month period we will learn more about the practice of hospitality – but more about that later. Finally, when we agree the nature of our adaptive challenge we will be looking for a team to lead it, and for others to engage with it. Watch this space!

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