PCC ‘AWAY’ DAY
St Barnabas Church Parish Centre, 27th Jan 2017
Engaging with our neighbours
Derek started the day’s deliberations by asking those present to consider John 1, v1 -14 and in particular the term ‘dwell’. He explained that the term ‘Word’ in the bible derived from the Greek word logos meaning the divine animating principle pervading the Universe and that ‘dwell’ alluded to Moses pitching his tent in the desert and the Ark of the Covenant dwelt within. With the coming of Jesus, God ‘pitched his tent’, dwelt, amongst us. And we, as a church, dwell among our neighbours here in Emmer Green.
The ‘Away’ Day was split into three main sessions addressing: Why should we engage with our neighbours; Who are our neighbours and How should we do it. For each of the sessions the PCC was split into three working groups.
Why should we engage with our neighbours?
The first session addressed why we need to look outward as a Church. It was recognized that we are challenged to share our faith and in the process grow as a church and grow in and sustain our faith. By engaging we develop relationships that enable the church to build on existing work and embark on new projects.
The second session sought to identify groups outside the church and their characteristics. Our community of Emmer Green comprises the young, the working and the retired: schools and scout groups; allotment holders, care home residents, users of the church hall, other churches, doctors surgery, shops and pubs. A very wide selection of overlapping groups and communities.
The third session focused on the practical things that could be done to foster and improve St Barnabas engagement with the wider community. The good things that are already being done were mentioned including: Busy Bees, lunch club, craft group, men’s breakfast. The potential to develop these further will need investigation, for example, a female equivalent of the men’s breakfast – “ladies that lunch” It was recognized that Alpha was a successful programme. There was a general consensus that we, the congregation, need to be positive and outward looking and thus, if we are engaged, we have a better chance of engaging successfully with our neighbours.
No decisions have been taken at this stage, the PCC will consider the subject further and seek to ensure the congregation is fully informed and involved.