My dream for all our churches is that they grow. Grow in the number of people who come, and grow in depth of faith and action. My dream for our worship on Sundays is that the buildings will be full of the people of our villages every Sunday, singing and sharing because they know that God loves them. My dream is that people who life has crushed will find new hope with us. My dream is that God will be noticeably present in our churches, wiping away every tear, healing the sick, comforting those who mourn, clothing the poor and housing the homeless. My dream is that young and old alike will worship together in joy and honesty. My dream is for a generous gracious forgiveness to flow from God, into our lives and into the world around us. My dream is that we are all blessed by God and that the blessings of God will overflow from us into the world around us. That is my dream.
I hope this ignites a conversation in our churches, homes and villages… let’s talk about our dreams for God’s Church in this place. I have already asked our Church community for their dreams for St James’, St Bartholomew’s, Shred and HomeChurch.
I have anonymised the replies and share them here, please add your dreams for Church in the comments below.
My dream is of God’s fire illuminating the inside of each home in the village. Of his unstoppable Holy Spirit drenching each member of each family, bringing a spirit of repentance and unquenchable desire for God that nothing, nothing, else can satisfy. That streams of God’s children will pour into St Bartholomew’s every Sunday, seeking, finding, worshipping and glorifying their Saviour.
The words I would use to express my dream for our church I guess relate to Shred as that is ‘church’ for me.
I dream that our church will have open doors, and a welcome heart, holding gently our community. Our small church filled with all ages, all smiles, all songs, all love. We will gather, we will share, we will laugh, we will celebrate, we will support, we will care.
Gosh it makes me quite sad thinking about this as Shred is all of these things and the reason me and my family ‘do’ church. I miss all those things but look forward to times, that I hope are close, when Shred can do all of this with ease, as it always has.
I hope me and family can take a walk Easter Sunday up to Shred as we did last year, such a special day for all churches but Shred in particular, we did this last year as I hated the thought of our church being alone on such a day with no voices and hearts inside. Funny because as we were there a few other Shreddies passed by too!
Thank you for prompting me to remember what our lovely church offers.
My dream is a church that is a for the hub of the village. It is, or has a sacred space. It has a meeting/social space, it has activity going on throughout the day eg maybe a community shop / cafe / library / activities. The building can be a worship place a meeting place a concert place that is ‘owned’ by the people of Marsden not just emotionally but as an asset to the community.
Our Sunday Home Church Worship is a lovely friendly service where we have Carol and Ali to lead us through our worship. It is also nice when some of us take part in the service. Also I feel we still have God’s Blessing. Home Church at the moment, is a place where you feel safe and relaxed even though you are in your own home. We particularly enjoys the modern hymns, songs which are a welcome change to some of the traditional, slightly sombre hymns.
I don’t have a dream- I would prefer reality. A church at the centre of the community with community events and accessible to all. A building where people are happy to come and feel welcome, whether on Sunday or any other day. A place of bustle, joy and humanity, music and hospitality and offering events for all ages. A church that engages with local problems and that is linked in with village life. Where people can see that by our lives and deeds that we are true Christians
When I saw your email I thought about your question for a while and the main thing I kept coming back to was that my dream church would be WELCOMING. I would like any one who comes along to feel really at home in the building and in the company of the congregation. It would be nice to know the names of most people who attend. I’m sure you already DO know most folks names but I am guessing most of us don’t?
My dream is that every church will be full to the rafters after Covid. My dream is that everyone will go to church and give thanks to God that they have survived Covid. Not everyone has survived and they should not be forgotten.
My dream for our church is that we make it the hub of our community. That more people attend (me included) which I will when we can. That we can pray and also sing our hearts out. I also hope we can raise the funds to bring it back to its former glory. Which I am willing to help with that.
My dream is that our service on Sunday can be a bit later.
My dream is that our local church family is a ‘force for good’. That everyone can feel they are not alone, and that there can be peace and stillness in our hearts and between people and nations. That the natural world can be seen as a wonderful gift to help us feel that peace and wonder. That differences are good and celebrated, and make up a rich tapestry of community – so that everyone can contribute and everyone is valued.
That the church does things for a reason, intentionally, and not just because we’ve always done it…. although stewardship of tradition and heritage is also important to give us all anchors.
I dream of, hope for, plan for, and EXPECT with excitement and lots of prayer:
Signs that God is at work, stirring up, prompting, calling people to respond.
What will it look like? Maybe some of the following:
Doors open, decent coffee brewing in the kitchen. The worship team making a terrible noise practising by the piano for next Sunday night’s Youth service. The website advertising some or all of the following all happening in the next few days:
Bible study group
Prayer chain contact
Drop-in coffee – and-jigsaw mornings
Parish weekends away (Scargill? Iona? Somewhere else?)
Meanwhile after the Sunday service, we are kept back with ears bent by enthusiastic people suggesting things they are interested in doing.
For example – a summer Holiday club
The phone rings – it is another of the schools wanting an extra service in church, or asking for greater involvement from us
We begin to notice a hunger for deeper prayer life, an awareness of world church family, a greater awareness of what different parishioners are already doing in social justice action locally and further afield.
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