Chelmsley Wood Baptist Church faith//hope//love

  • Chelmund's Day

    On Saturday we were part of a community day and it brought back to me what we are all about. If you’ve been following the blog or know some of our current story you’ll know that things aren’t going too well for us in terms of our building. We have a huge shortfall in the funds required to put the building back 0n a sustainable and functioning footing, but have run out of time for fundraising. As a result we’re having to go ahead and get two thirds of the work done, leaving the building work incomplete and then trying to run the centre whilst we raise the funds to finish the work.

    To be honest, it has got me down a bit to say the least, but yesterday helped me to re-order my priorities. That, along with the recent trip to Uffington and the stone carving project run by Tree of Life. All of them have reminded me that people and relationships are far more important than projects and schemes. It’s easy to let the mechanics of a project overwhelm the reasons for the project. We have always been clear that we are not here to run a community centre, nor even to run a church institution. These things need money and structures which are, very often, not conducive to people. Too often we’ve seen a community project become the end in itself, rather than the people it aims to help or serve.

    We are here because we think God loves this community, these people that we are a part of. We are here because, so far, God has given us the resources we need to do that. Admittedly, we’ve often had to wrestle the resources in and have become experts at improvising and working on a shoestring budget. But we’ve done it. And we’ve been stronger for it.

    Yesterday was Chelmund’s Day. A day to celebrate our history and heritage. A day for the community to come together and be united, have fun and celebrate. We didn’t know if we were going to get 5 or 500 people. In the end we reckon we got over 750 through our doors during the day. It was fantastic. To see more about chelmund’s Day and the photos visit www.chelmundsday.moonfruit.com

    The church ran the Angel Tent, which is a tent for people to meet and talk. During the day we offered prayer, conversation and Jesus Deck readings (more about that at http://jesusdeck.wordpress.com/ ). At one point I walked by and there was a group of people in deep conversation about the Bible, who put what in it and if its made up. I kept walking. Mainly because the Angel Tent is for anyone to share what they think and everyone in the tent seemed to be doing a pretty good job of doing that. Its not a place for us to convince or persuade others, rather it’s a place for us to explore together, believers and non-believers, faithful and unfaithful. In many respects the Angel Tent is a microcosm of our church where people can see who we are and what we’re about.

    To get back to my point, after Chelmund’s Day there were some really nice things said on Twitter and it just reminded me that this is the kind of thing that we should be putting our energy and soul into. The building is important, it is a tool for the activities, but that is all. What is important is the people who come in and use it, the people who make up the extended family there. From a faith point of view, the big question we’ll be asked at the end of time isn’t, ‘How nice was your building’, but ‘did you make a difference, did you bring hope and love into the world?’ I hope that by the things we do, and by being a part of days like Saturday, we’ll be able to say yes, and be proud to have helped grow and share some joy into our community and world. I think Jesus would have enjoyed Saturday and would far rather go to days like that and hang around with people having fun than a lot of the stuff that we, as Christians, busy ourselves doing.

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Neil (the minister) occasionally gets round to blogging so welcome to the trivia and ramblings of an erratic stream of consciousness.

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