The one about…church (part1!)

The summer holidays have arrived! The schools in Peterborough finished on Friday and now six weeks of summer fun are beginning!

I genuinely love the summer, it feels like I get my family back…the term-time madness of ensuring we’re all where we’re meant to be, dressed, with the right equipment, having eaten breakfast with brushed teeth and hair is often somewhat of a challenge! We blag it, daily! Sometimes more convincingly than others and sometimes the truth about the intensity and insanity is only known by those who live in our house!

So the summer presents a welcome break from the routine; clock watching and to some extent the mundane!

On flip side the summer brings a whole new set of challenges as we remember how to be family; day in, day out without the usual breaks from each other! This summer in particular we find ourselves in a strange ‘liminal’ space, a time between one way of life and the next. To have that coincide with summer holidays makes the feeling of not knowing where we’re headed even more surreal! To be married to a vicar who doesn’t have a church to lead leaves Sunday as this strange “it would be good to do something but we’re not sure what” kind of day! The problem being that, while we’re fully committed to the idea of church, the reality of church isn’t always that appealing with seven children ranging from age two to fourteen! So the one day in the week that always did make sense suddenly doesn’t!

However, that in itself presents an opportunity…an opportunity for us as family to really explore what we think church is and what it could be!

So as part of our summer, alongside encouraging the kids to do the summer reading challenge at the library and write a diary each day (I know, really?!!) we’re going to be talking about, building duplo models of, drawing pictures of, writing stories about, attempting to enact within our little family (which in itself is bigger than some church congregations!) and generally thinking about…church! We’ll be exploring what we value about church, what elements of church make it feel like church and what elements we could live without!

Each week we’ll take a theme a bit deeper, compile a blog and try to make more sense of that particular thought in the hope that over the six week holiday we create a picture of what church could be.

The intention is that as the summer unfolds we, as family, will grow a deeper understanding of each other as well as a deeper connection with who we see as the source of life. I love being on a journey with the children, the thought that they could be given a voice to say what they believe church ‘could be’ rather than be told what they ‘should believe’ church is, makes this whole surreal episode of life exciting! Exploring church isn’t just about trying to work out which building we sit in on a Sunday it’s the basis of how we do life…for me church isn’t just an hour on a Sunday it’s connecting with community, not to tell people what to believe but to allow everyone space to explore what they do believe.

So with that in mind can I invite you to join us; to contribute; to share your thoughts about church? To think about what you value and what gives you energy? To admit what doesn’t really work or what irritates or what just seems irrelevant? To explain why you go or why you don’t?

All thoughts are welcome! You can comment on the blog or on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. If you prefer you can send an email by clicking ‘menu’ and ‘contact’ to drabridges@gmail.com

It’d be great to have you as part of the conversation and maybe, just maybe, as we engage in this together you might help us discover something of what we, as family, are meant to do next!

Here’s to the summer…

3 thoughts on “The one about…church (part1!)

  1. I thought this was brilliant, the whole concept and importance of exploring together surely leads to discussion and acceptance? If we encourage and foster such ideas in our young people then they are better able to make their own choices that impact their lives in a long lasting manner both when they are under our guidance or older. Even if their choices don’t always align with our own, we have the certainty to know that they are considered and thought out ones. Thank you for your encouragement x

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    1. Thank you for yours!! It’s so fascinating talking to our kids about church…when we moved to Peterborough the style of church was so different to anything they’d experienced and there were very few children their age…we’ve had to find new, different, ways of connecting with others and experiencing God/church …and it’s a journey we’re still on and it’s scary and exciting as the eldest three are “youth” rather than children!!! We want them to know how to wrestle with what they think, how to doubt, be confused and yet believe there’s something more and hold that as we journey with them…fun…privilege…thought provoking, enlightening!!! Yes!xx

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  2. It’s taken me a while to reply to this , but I think church should primarily be like a big, supportive family! ( Like yours!)
    My Mum was one of 11, born in 1921. Whenever she spoke about family life, it was with great love and affection. Over the past 29 years of single parenthood, church has been part of my own family . I left the Church of England when I became a single parent because I felt loved and accepted by The Pentecostal church. I am now back in the good ol’ C of E. I hope other families who are different and not conventional feel as loved and accepted as I did at a time when all I had was Gods love and my faith and His awsome Grace …! Xx

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