Joan Jackson reports on our day of sharing.
Over 20 years ago, just before the new millennium, Broadstone Methodists were concerned about the lack of space and accessible facilities for the disabled in the buildings we had at the time. This sparked, through the foresight of Rev Paul Mears, our minister then, a series of Vision days which culminated in the decision to rebuild the old church, replacing it, in 2003, with the wonderful premises we enjoy today.
Our challenge was to be the church in the community providing a safe and accessible meeting place for mission and service. So our mission statement was formed – ‘As part of the worldwide Christian church, to preach the Christian message, provide facilities for Christian worship and to serve the needs of the community.’
Recently in January 2020 we spent a day thinking of our Dreams and Visions for the future and trying to see what God is calling us to do as individuals and as a church. We were concerned about social isolation of all ages; looked at how we could develop or improve present activities; tried to identify things which might be missing from the life of our church, and what more we could do to serve needs in the community.
We were challenged to reflect on all the good work that is happening and acknowledged the huge army of volunteers who fill our many rotas and enable our present work to continue. We aim to be a welcoming and inclusive community where everyone is accepted just as they are and can feel loved and valued.
Our pastoral visitors are another very important resource as they visit their group members offering support, encouragement and help in time of need.
One vision was of a large united church community in Broadstone all working together to serve our area and striving to make everyone aware of God’s love. So we aim to do more things ecumenically, building on the united services we share and Lent groups and Lunches.
In a world of constant change, conventional Sunday worship is not suitable for everyone and time was spent looking at what we presently provide, and possible alternatives. The Friday Shoppers’ service, Cafe Church and Cafe Style Worship have opened up different opportunities for people to meet together, support each other spiritually, and share in worship. Our Annual Church meeting in April will focus on worship, so we look forward to a time of sharing views on what makes our worship meaningful.
One vision we hope to turn into practical reality is the idea of a free Conversational English class to enable people for whom English is their second language to improve their skills and meet together socially to maintain their general well being.
When the present church was being planned we held lots of fund raising activities. Not only did these help to raise funds needed but gave opportunities to meet together socially. Would you be interested in being part of a team to organise some events like this, or perhaps you would be willing to host or lead a new house group?
A concern was raised that a number of us find it difficult to talk about our faith with
other people, especially those who see church as irrelevant. After Easter we hope to offer a group to develop our ability to do that more easily.
The way forward is challenging as we have to remember ‘We can do anything - but we can’t do everything!’ However we have seen previous dreams and visions turn into reality, and we will seek to do the same for our new dreams and visions, through the power of prayer and the belief that God is calling us to serve Him here in Broadstone to show His love and care as ‘The Church in the Community.’