Imagine walking into church and finding the chairs arranged in number of semi circles, imagine how you might react - some were tempted to turn around and go home - but nobody did!
Simon welcomed us to the service and made the comment that 'nobody likes change'. Following the readings - Mark 4 35-41 (Jesus calms the storm) 1 Samuel 18 6 - 16 (Saul is jealous of David, a new leader)- and an appropriate film clip from 'Toy Story', we took part in three discussion exercises, interspersed with hymns.
The first was 'Possibilities' in which we discussed in groups - and wrote, in the spaces provided - our thoughts about how our church could contribute to the wellbeing of local community, of the wider church, of individuals and of the environment.
The second was 'What should the minister be doing?' - everyone had a sheet to complete, rating the different statements on a scale from 'very important' to 'not mportant'.
The third was 'Words' - each group had an envelope containing a selection of words that describe possible qualities we might look for in a minister. We were instructed to choose just 5 words as a group.
The results of these three exercises were gathered together. They will enable us to complete our 'church profile' for seeking a new minister.
A sermon, Simon had explained, should tell the good news. It should help people to work out what the Good News gospel means in their own lives, and should encourage people to respond. Our discussions, it is hoped, did all of these.
Contributed by Marcia