Our theme this month has been, Re-Imagining Church, and it has invited us to reconsider, redefine and refresh what it means to be church today, to be communities that gather together to learn, share and serve God’s kingdom. We have asked Alex Baird of Dalziel St Andrews Church in Motherwell to share with us some practical ways that they have been re-imagining church, responding to the needs of their neighbours. We hope this list inspires you in your local community to experiment with new ways of being a responsive, caring and outward looking. Over to Alex…
“The church is wherever God’s people are helping
Caring for neighbours in sickness and need.”
Re-Imagining Church must take us out to the community. We will always welcome all who attend our many organisations.
Here are some suggestions of things we have tried and are trying at Dalziel St Andrews in Motherwell to let the whole community know we are here, in the heart of the town, and that we care.
- A monthly free Community Breakfast, held on a Saturday, and open to the whole community. Around 60 are now attending each event. Great chance to talk and make all welcome. Wonderful support from Greggs the bakers with unsold goods and Tesco for generous free availability of rolls etc.
- Support from weekly Prayer Group at the church.
- Use of Facebook for liaison with friends.
- Fun Quiz and Curry Night open to all (no charge) held between Christmas and New Year.
- Summer Holiday Club (over 65 children attending each day for the week of the Club). Christian message and songs and a free meal. Lots of hungry children during school holiday time in our area.
- Established Befriend Motherwell, now a separate charity, to bring support to the many lonely and isolated elderly in the town, “matching”of Befriender and Befriendee plus 5 Groups in Sheltered Housing Complexes.
- Messy Church events on Sunday afternoons through the year. Around 100 attending regularly with more than half children. After 3 years of Messy Church events need for an M.O.T. So Messy On Tour is planned, taking the event, which always finishes with a free meal, out to the community and holding it in a local community centre in the heart of a local housing scheme.
- Linking with Befriend Motherwell to hold a monthly Musical Memories afternoon with refreshments. Targeting those with dementia and their carers and with great help from local Dementia Resource Centre.
- Produced a CD of Favourite Hymns (chosen by the congregation) and make it available to all who can use it to support those at home with dementia.
- Live Stream Services so that all, wherever they are, can have the option of hearing God’s Word. Put on You Tube for catch-up.
- Add a stream with BSL Signer and Electronic Notetaker so that the deaf can share in worship.
We do welcome suggestions from others please as to how we might do more and strive to revitalise our church. Let’s pool together ideas for our Lord.