LENT 2016 – Feedback

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During Lent this year we have been meeting to explore the spiritual life in four dimensions as we have considered what it means to journey up, in, with and out. As part of our reflection we looked at the questions ‘where have we come from’ and ‘who are we’. Although we looked at the same questions each week, people were asked to frame their responses within the context of that week – up, in, with and out. Here is what people said.

 

Journeying Up…

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  • … is about our love of God, our response to his overwhelming love for us.
  • … is about living for God not for ourselves.
  • … is about acknowledging that He comes first in our life.
  • … is about being a “living sacrifice”.

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Where have we come from?

  • 600 years!
  • Christian country with Christian values, including church/Christian schools. We are undergoing a transition to a more pluralist, multi-faith society.
  • Reasons for coming to church: Some young families come to get their children into Moseley C of E School or because they had a Christian education and want their children to have it too.
  • People are drawn to the type of service – not clap happy but enjoy a more formal style.
  • People are attracted by what we are doing e.g. Night Shelter, Christmas Day Together, lunch club, charity support, involvement in the community.
  • The amount of people involved as volunteers is attractive – lots of people involved in stuff.
  • Cross age make up/inter-generational.
  • Value diversity of gifts.
  • We are the sum of everyone who is there, with all that they bring.
  • Could we plot the ‘faith journey’ of the benefice?

Who are we?

  • St Mary’s is the focal point of the village – the building is significant at the centre of the village.
  • Diverse group with common hope in Jesus.
  • Retired – we know where we are going and we are getting ready for that.
  • Representative of Christianity – this carries a lot of responsibility. We need an apologetic to be able to give an account of the hope that is within us.
  • God’s people.
 
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Journeying in …

  • … is about being transformed into the likeness of Christ;
  • … growing and flourishing as Christians as we seek to follow Christ and journey in our relationship with God;
  • … knowing and loving ourselves so that we can love others.

Where have we come from?

  • Faith is a part of life.
  • We’ve become more open to people.
  • We all have individual journeys together as a united benefice – unity and diversity.
  • From and through dark places.
  • Different backgrounds with a variety of experiences.
  • A range and diversity which is a strength.
  • A sense of Moseley fitting the person – people come for a reason.
  • Church is less hierarchical – more collaborative.
  • A place of welcome.
  • The pace of change in the last 50 years is part of where we’ve come from.
  • Grandparents are significant for their influence on their families.
  • It’s all pretty historical, so does it matter where we’ve come from?
  • We are a product of our experiences and influences.
  • Different communities within communities.
  • A repository for ‘God talk’.
  • The spatial extent of the benefice beyond congregations.

Who are we?

  • Congregations, parishes, benefice, diocese, communion.
  • We are the latest in a great procession. We need to pass the faith on to those who come after us.
  • How exclusive are we?
  • A community that is also outward looking.
  • We are unique and made in God’s image.
 
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Journeying with journeyingwith.png

Journeying with …

  • … is about being united to one another within the Church, the body of Christ, the people of God.
  • … It’s about belonging to our local church,
    • … to the benefice,
    • … to the Diocese of Birmingham,
    • … to the Church of England,
    • … to the worldwide church.

Where have we come from?

  • Various directions.
  • Wanting events that engage the community to become more ‘mainstream’.
  • The building needs to be used for the community, made more attractive, become a resource. Soup kitchen?
  • Churchyard project – needs to look as though it’s happening.

Who are we?

  • Hope we are emulating body of Christ – each with a gift to offer.
  • We are a community and are in the community.
  • We lack volunteers to sustain projects in the longer term.
  • We are all a part of multi-groups.
  • We are a small part of Moseley.
  • We shouldn’t be afraid to move forward, think big, look to the future, learn from the past.
  • We shouldn’t be apologetic about what we do.
  • We do engage with community – we could do more.
  • There has been no shortage of vision e.g.
    • Used to be “as new” shop.
    • Christmas tree festivals.
    • Wedding festivals.
    • Art exhibitions.
  • Wanting to have church open.
  • Sense that vision has been “squashed” – lots of ideas but nothing happens.
  • Could St Anne’s Hall be made a ‘better’ space?
  • St Mary’s is “up on the hill” – not accessible.
    • Level floors needed.
    • Chairs not pews.
    • Both churches need to be warmer.
  • Make it more like Ladywood – flexible open space, under-floor heating.
 
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Journeying out journeyingout.png

Journeying out…

  • … is centred on our understanding of God
  • … is Christ-like, with the life of Jesus as our model and guide
  • … is Spirit-led, as we are enabled to follow in the way of Jesus, loving and serving as Jesus loved and served

Where have we come from?

  • Volunteer led.
  • Different from one person to the next.
  • Prisoners of our history – uncritical perpetuators.
  • Honourable history but different organisations have been formed and have drifted off e.g. St Mary’s Hospice; Kinmoss; Moseley & District Churches Housing Association; Centre 13; Birmingham 13.

Who are we?

  • 10 years ago a survey was undertaken to ask the community how they perceived us. What happened to it?
  • We have so little encounter with people of other faiths that it is impossible to know what they think of us.
  • God botherers.
  • Eccentric
  • A curiosity
  • Not particularly ethnically diverse
  • A pathway for getting children into Moseley C of E School.
  • Rich.
  • Snobby?
  • Good music.
  • Not of the community.
  • We are irrelevant.