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
After morning service on Sunday, a coach load of church members and friends enjoyed yet another excellent coach excursion, organised amazingly well, as ever, by Pauline Noble. The destination was the Royal Albert Hall and a tribute to the great musicals by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.Introduced by Radio 3 presenter Petroc Trelawny, we were treated to an excellent afternoon's ...
As a Circuit we said that we found it difficult to talk about our faith with others so we have put together five evenings of lively conversation and debate on the subject. The sessions are open to everyone and are designed to be informative, worthwhile and fun! The five sessions running on the dates below are all at Stoke Mandeville Methodist Church, all starting with refreshments at 7pm and...
The winner of our recent name and logo competition for our refurbished church welcome area was not an individual but a team. Team AMC! This was because the final name and design was a combination of ideas from the original entries, the Selection Panel, Leadership Team and the Church Welcome Project Team.Whilst the Selection Panel liked several of the entered designs, it felt that none of them...
Hall, rooms 4/5/6