Friday, July 2, 2010

Friday five: I Want to Belong to a Church that...

I haven't done the Revgals Friday Five for awhile, but this is a great way to get back into it. Thanks Sally!

Her inspiration is this address from the Eunice Attwood, Vice President of the British Methodist Church.

I want to be part of a church that is prayer-filled -
A church that is resourced and sustained by the Bible,
A church that can offer hope even in a credit crunch,
A church that can live well with difference and diversity.

I want to be part of a church that welcomes the wealthy, those who have power and influence -
A church that knows how to party and celebrate life,
A church that acknowledges death and speaks boldly of resurrection,
A church that doesn’t pretend to have all the answers but encourages all the questions.

I want to be part of a church that throws parties for prostitutes -
A church that welcomes those who seek asylum,
A church that longs and yearns for justice,
A church that listens to those no-one else wants to listen to.

I want to be part of a church that believes in transformation not preservation -
A church where all who are lost can be found,
A church where people can discover friendship,
A church where every person takes responsibility in sharing the good news.

I want to be part of a church whose hope is placed securely and confidently in the transforming love of God -
A church that engages faith in its communities,
A church that makes and nurtures disciples of Jesus.

A church where the story of God’s love is at the centre.
I want to be part of a church that offers outrageous grace, reckless generosity, transforming love and engaging faith.
This is God’s story Transforming Love: Engaging Faith.

My prayer is that by the power of the Spirit of God at work amongst us, it will increasingly be our story.

Here are my Five:

I want to be a church that practices generosity -- that listens to other ideas, that welcomes people who are different, that gives itself away, that lives abundantly, even when there is much to fear from scarcity.

I want to be a part of a church that welcomes and values children -- that takes seriously the mission to guide children and to listen to them, that welcomes children, and never talks down to them, and that loves the beauty and diversity of all children, that believes "all children are our children"

I want to be a part of a church that matters in the lives of its members, in the lives of the community where it dwells, in the world. I want to be a part of a church that seeks ways to make the gospel real by implementing justice and mercy for others.

I want to be a part of a church that loves and celebrates beauty -- where artists paint, draw and sculpt to the glory of God, where poets dream dreams to the glory of God, where storytellers weave stories, where musicians sing -- to the Glory of God who walked among us, who does not abandon us in our darkest hour, but goes before us through the valley of the shadow of death.

I want to be a part of a church which dares to fail, practices forgiveness, gets up and tries again to be God's people in the world. I want to be a part of a church that dares, remembering to rejoice not in success, but in the fact that "our names are written in heaven."

What about you? What kind of church do you want to be a part of?

I'm longing to know.

"What does the Lord require of you, but to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with God?" Micah 6:8


Rachel said...

Love this Diane--its been a LONG while for me too, but I think you are right, Sally's post has inspired. Brilliant, beautiful, hope-filled post.

Anonymous said...

A good list, Diane. thanks for articulating it.

Wendy said...

I love the way you write about a church that loves and celebrates beauty.

Choralgirl said...

Lovely, Diane!

Sally said...

love your thoughts on art and creativity :-)

Jayne said...

"dares to fail" You know...we forget that we aren't gonna be perfect on this earth, don't we?

Mavis said...

What a wonderful list. #4 and #5 especially. Small Boat Big Sea faith community in Sydney is also an art gallery. And Paddington Uniting always has contemporary art on display

Jan said...

What a good list, Diane. No wonder you are who you are. I'm glad you are a minister.

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

This is a wonderful, generous list. I too especially liked four and five.

Anonymous said...