12th June 2018

Pursuing New Ideas In Melness & Tongue

(from www.churchofscotland.org.uk)


Path of Renewal in Melness and TongueAt Melness and Tongue, the Kirk Session and Minister were 100% enthusiastic about beginning the Path of Renewal project at the start of 2016. But it did take some time to figure out and understand what Path of Renewal was all about! Initially, the recruitment of a part time worker who would free up some time for the minister to be engaged in Path of Renewal, took up a lot of time.

Some folks were brought together to form a New Ideas group, the name being chosen to reflect what they were about, consisting of two Elders (one in their 40s), two members of the congregation, two newish attendees (one of whom was 25 years of age), and two men in their 30s/40s who were interested and supportive of the congregation, but were not attending regular Sunday worship.
The New  Ideas group was enthusiastic about developing new ways of being Church that would help to draw others into Fellowship, although not necessarily lead them to join in traditional Sunday worship. At one of the occasional Church & Community lunches, a survey was conducted, asking participants: “What is Missing from our Community?” and “How could that Gap be Filled?”. Several things were suggested, but one that appeared several times was “There is no Dog-Walking group”. 
Other New Ideas that emerged were: Messy Church, Creative Space, Family Games Events/Group, Christian Music Group, Community Shed Group, Dog-Walking Group. This was a significant set of new activities. Knowing that they could not all be  launched at once, it was decided to begin with the Dog-Walking Group, which was the easiest to organise and would raise the profile in the Community. After starting the Dog-Walking Group (meeting weekly), a trial Family Games afternoon was organised and,  most recently,  Messy Church began, the third of which will be held in June. 
In addition, there was a willingness amongst some of those who preferred not be in the New Ideas group, to be more involved in preparing and leading traditional Sunday Worship, to free resources for those developing New Ideas. With the advent of the Dog Walking Group, Messy Church and the Games event, friendships are developing, conversations are deepening. and ecumenical relationships are being strengthened. Developing a Community Shed, a Music Group and a Creative Spaces group are ideas that, hopefully will be taken further in time.  What is clear is that God is at work and we are being invited to join in, leaning and growing as we go.

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