The best laid plans o’ mice an’ men gang aft a-gley

Robert Burns wrote those words in his wonderful Scots language poem. Translated into the barbarous English as the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.

After a successful 2019 there were many plans in the circuit for individual churches to take the prayer caravan or a mini Elemental Tent to local fetes and carnivals, to go out into the community, talk to people about the church and pray with and for people in 2020. Unfortunately 2020 had other plans.

2020 has been a time of contemplation, repositioning and learning for the church. It no doubt came as a shock to many to realise that the Church of England once had slaves and received sizable compensation when they were forced to free them. Freed from their buildings churches of all denominations have had to learn new ways of doing things, tackling the positives of both modern technology and old fashioned ways of keeping in touch and their seems to be general agreement that we want to move forward, to take on the good we have learned and not just return to the old status quo.

We do not know what the future will bring. As I write this churches have been told they can be open for private prayer and that they will be allowed to open for socially distanced services but with no singing. If a second round of Covid 19 strikes and we go back into lockdown that may not last. Hopefully this pandemic will eventually pass and we will be able to engage in our new normal.

My role is to support the circuit as we reach out to our communities, to help people who have ideas or even the start of an idea and help them bring it into being. Some things are all ready up and running, like Open the Book, but there are a wealth of gifts and talents around the circuit that need an outlet.

Here’s a list of things I’ve encountered at various churches that might speak to someone who reads this.

Creative Prayer art groups. People coming together over a meditation to try and share the pictures God gives them

A taste of things others have done

Messy Church. A family oriented service of food, crafts and a talk and worship. Ideal for families on the fringe.

A taste of things others have done.

Book groups. A popular idea but bringing a Christian perspective.

A taste of things others have done

Breakfast clubs. For working parents who struggle to get their kids to school and themselves to work. Also helps poorer families to ensure their children get breakfast without stigmatising them.

A taste of things others have done

Healing on the streets/prayer on the streets. Meeting people on the streets, encountering them where they are and making conversation.

A taste of things others have done

Coffee Shop bible groups. Get together in a local coffee shop to read and discuss the Bible and support a local business.

That’s just a handful of ideas and there are many more. If you have an idea and you want to talk it over call me or message me and we’ll sort something out.

Author: missionerpete

i an the Pioneer Connexion Missioner for The Meon Valley Methodist Circuit. Also husband, father and artist though not always in that order.

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