It has been exciting watching, and sharing with people in our parishes, as they grapple with the implications of the book “Love Your Church.” One of the key elements is to belong to the local church. For Church of Ireland church members this presents a challenge.
For many of us we ‘feel’ we belong to a church without any personal commitments. In most other churches the personal commitment is the key to membership.
One sign of membership is attendance at worship, including participation in Holy Communion. Another sign is our prayerful involvement with the church as we kneel at the foot of the cross, praying for one another, leaders and members, day by day. Financial support, too, is an indicator that we value God and his glory enough to invest valuable resources in his gathered community. Gathering for activities outside of the act of worship is a very natural act of a member, as we see one another as (potential) friends and companions in life, and we want to encourage one another as we spend time together. Seeking to draw others into the church family is yet another sign that membership matters to us, whether by inviting friends, distributing information, or speaking well of your experience of the church.
I have enjoyed preparing our evening studies at SNATCH. Sunday Night at Church is simply the title of an event which includes video and discussion and some note making. I think for February I am going to hold the evening in the Mitchell room on Sunday Nights. The name doesn't need to change: Sunday Night At The Church Hall, but I would love to see more people there.
Membership is more than just one of those ideas listed: and you can make a difference to your life, your church, and your community as you engage more with the life of your churches. Attend on Sunday mornings to hear a sermon as you worship God, then come to SNATCH on Sunday night, or listen online if you really aren't free to come at that time.
Talking of membership, please see the article on the Easter Vestry Revision, and see where your membership (old or new) can help you serve God and your parish.
If you want a todo list to help you as a member - and who doesn't like todo lists. . . here are some to tick off this month: During February I will....
- [ ] Come to Communion
- [ ] Pray for my rector and my parish
- [ ] Give to mission or ministry according to my ability
- [ ] Consider what activities I would like to join (or start) as the world re-opens - Invite a neighbour or family member to come to church with me
- [ ] Come to SNATCH