Helen Kirk: May 2016
Are you 'in' or are you 'out'? It is a question I have been asked more than once in recent weeks. 'Innies and 'outies' always make me think of belly buttons but this is a far more serious question: this is about our place in Europe and what we each believe is best for our nation. It is an important issue.
Now, I know which way I will be voting, (don't worry I'm not going to use this article for my own personal propaganda), but for many who have not made up their mind it can feel like a minefield of information (or misinformation depending on where you are coming from.) However, one thing that strikes me is that all the arguments seem to boil down to 'what will I get out of it?' or 'am I getting the best deal?' So often we are encouraged to form an opinion on an issue from a very selfish perspective: how will this affect me rather than how will this affect another.
We sometimes say similar things in the life of the church; the style of our worship, the events we support, our use of resources, can, if we are not careful, become very subjective. If we are not careful, church can be about what works for me rather than others.
William Temple once said of the church 'it is the only society on earth that exists for the benefit of non-members'. This means we have a very different philosophy from other organisations. We do not belong to the church for our own benefit; we worship because we believe it is important for our society; we pray and give for others; our calendar has events that do not just uplift us but are purposely open to all; we offer hospitality not merely to those we like to meet with, but to those we don't!
Our church community should have an entirely distinctive character because it is not first and foremost about my experience but how I can enable the experience of another.
As St Paul wrote: 'Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others' (Philippians 2: 3-4)
So whether it is casting a vote, expressing an opinion, or using our time, may we always hold in mind a perspective that is wider than our own; a vision that encompasses the needs of others.
popular recent storiesAlso in the news
ONE Opportunity is a circuit and district-based discipleship scheme for young people supported by the Regional Forums of the Methodist Learning Network.The Northampton District of the Methodist Church require an Administrator and a Coordinator to be part of a small team responsible for running the ONE Opportunity programme that will employ and train young people within the Methodist District...
Tomorrow night, Friday 18th January from 7-9pm, the Friday Night Youth Group will meet. It is for anyone in secondary school. To find out more, speak to Hannah, Charlie or Ruby or email Mel: email@example.com.Then on Saturday, 23rd February from 2.30 — 7.30pm. The Northampton Methodist District presents: 'ACTS 29: We Are Courageous'. It is for ages 8 to 17 and includes...
As the welcome area project is now well under way we are looking to the future and the opportunities it will offer us to engage with those in need in our community. One thing we are hoping to offer at various times are 'Listeners' — people who will be available to simply listen to those who need someone to talk to. Perhaps this might be something you would be interested in doing? I am...
Fairford Leys Community Centre
Hall, rooms 4/5/6