So we have begun our Everybody Welcome Course – with 50 of us turning up either to a session on a Tuesday night at St Barnabas’ or one on a Thursday morning at St Nicholas’.
I really enjoyed leading both sessions, because the best part was listening and watching the various tables discuss and express their views on the Churches in our Parish and the way that we were visible or invisible to the community around us and how we might move forward in expressing the gospel of Jesus Christ to those we come into contact with.
In today’s reading we see Peter, who last week we read had gone back to being a fisherman, realise his need to make Jesus Christ the centre of his life and in doing so was able to perform miracles. The Gospel, that we are saved because Jesus died for us and from that act of amazing love we should love others – is central to Peter and should be central to us – as we invite and interact with new people who are seeking or visiting.
From the sessions 3 things really struck me; your honesty in that we had lots of people we could invite to Church but lack the skills or the attractive services to invite them to, the challenges we face, such as 7000 non-church visitors to baptisms at St Nicholas’ in a year – yet they meet only 10 of the normal congregation; and finally, the great ideas you have of what to change. May the other sessions be as productive.