20 Oct | Building & Meeting updates
Sunday Service this week: October 23, 11am, Centenary Hall, Hamilton Street
Next week: October 30, 11am, Devonvale Hall, Moss Road
On Tuesday night (18 Oct), elders, ministry leaders and members of the facility team met to plan for the next few weeks, as the church building will be out of commission for a good while. Here are some notes from their discussions:
Acts 2, 42-47 | The Fellowship of the Believers
They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
We had 2 builders inspect the ceiling from floor level. One has returned with a quote to replace the ceiling. The other could not give a quote as they were unsure what extra work would need doing when the ceiling was inspected.
It also seems wise, if not essential, to replace the church roof as its state is the cause of the ceiling damage. We do not yet have quotes but it will certainly be more than the ceiling cost. It is not clear what could be covered by insurance at this stage.
More detailed inspections need to take place. When we have more information and costs, we need to start discussions about what it is right to do about the repairs or changes to the building. Due to the above factors, it seems probable that we will be unable to use our building until after Christmas.
What do we do for now?
There was a genuinely upbeat mood at various meetings this week and on Sunday – a feeling that we are in this together and want to make the most of the situation. And we are asking the right questions as we consider: “What is God calling us to do about meeting together?”
Why do we meet on a Sunday morning?
- A time set apart to worship God – singing, communion.
- All ages being supported in learning and growing in faith.
- A visible Christian presence in the community.
- A place to be challenged and resourced to be part of God’s Mission.
- A time to encounter God by His Spirit.
- A place to invite others to.
- An opportunity to meet all together.
- A hook/connecting point for people to be part of the church community.
- A time to pray together.
These elements were ranked in order of people’s top priority.
We have often tried to cover all of these objectives every week. It may be that this approach means we could do all of them less well than concentrating on a few elements. Let’s have a go and try a few things.
What is distinctive about US as a church?
- Contemporary, relaxed feel to services.
- Many people contributing.
- Wide age range of those involved.
- A band with newer songs.
Of course none of these lists are comprehensive.
Many of the things people noted as Inspiring and Challenging in our discussion of GROWTH earlier in the year related quite closely to this current change.
Here are some results from the Tuesday discussion:
It felt that, at this stage, having one service rather than multiple services was preferable.
Some Key Factors in decision making
- Being mindful of the above reasons why we meet.
- Being able to provide well for the children.
- Seating capacity similar or larger than 150.
- Ability to sort out Seating and equipment relatively easily.
- Opportunity for Tea and Coffee.
More than 10 potential venues have been identified, including other churches, local halls and close-by prospects. Some of them are being discounted as they don’t meet at least some of the above criteria, but there are still quite a number of good choices.
It was agreed that for the next few weeks we will explore various options and see what works. So please embark on an adventure with us as we try different spaces, maybe different times and even different ways of “doing church.”
We have seen a lot of support locally and genuine offers of help from the other congregations. Not just for Sunday mornings, but also for the likes of café 2:16 – which had its first successful outing across the road in the hall of the Congregational Church this week.