Preaching at Dalton-in-Furness last week it was exciting to be with a congregation where different things are coming to fruition, which may reflect aspects going on in many of our congregations. A journey of 5 years or more with their sister Methodist Church has involved a coming together in worship using alternating locations. This will now see the 2 congregations coming together in the one building and, once the necessary council approvals have been granted, the development of the building to provide a venue which contributes to the mission of the church and will be of benefit for the local community too.
The Sunday before my visit the congregation were led in worship to explore their nature as community – and an activity with balls of wool generated a web of relationships! The congregation decided to use those balls of wool and have every member of the congregation contribute to the knitting of a cross (see the image of the knitting underway in the picture) – though the experience varies such that the knitted cross which began with a row of 12 stitches has now increased to 16 stitches!. In taking up one of the lectionary readings my sermon on “Being the Body of Christ” amplified that practical knitted expression by the congregation, as Paul wrote to the Galatian churches (2:20), “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
Please pray for all our sister congregations as:
• they gather each Sunday in worship, and those who lead that worship
• they work to build partnerships with other churches that will be fruitful for the work of God’s Kingdom
• they continue to offer buildings which are attractive both for mission and for local community activities
• they find creative ways to connect with one another, and in reaching out with the Gospel