Saturday, November 18, 2006

Beer, tea and football

Yesterday i went to the cask and cutler beer festival. It was, as expected, very good. I sampled quite a number of the beers on offer, and my favourite of the night was gaucho from the salamander brewery. Unfortunatley it had soon gone and replaced by another brew. When they have the festival they have a stack of casks in addition to the hand pull, and it amuses me when they go round with the watering can watering the towels draped over the top.
In contrast this morning was a church coffee morning round at Peter's house. He is one of our more elderly members, but is always very quick with his dry humour. Most people at our church are tea drinkers (maybe that's what makes us methodists!) and on asking what people would like to drink Peter said "would anyone like coffee, I guess I ought to make some with it being a coffee morning". There were a few takers, but the tea drinkers far exceeded them. It was also a good chance to talk about where we are going as a church, and how our thoughts might help in the current circuit review. The conversation was really useful and we plan to undertake some conversations within the circuit and also with neighbouring circuits. My feeling is that although we have a vision we want to offer the 'circuit - or whoever' and that there are probably people who would want to buy into that vision and help us attain that critical mass of people tomake it work, most people feel too committed to their own 'local efforts'. People are busy keeping their own walls from falling down without trying to build somenew ones, to use a metaphor. Perhaps this is true in general for methodism, instead of pooling circuit resources, individual churches are too busy maintaining their own local efforts, though i acknowledge in certain places these are working really effectively. But if we want to stop the decline in numbers then brave and difficult decisions need to be made on plant. There maybe less people, but these people are probably very passionate and unfortunately they probably become drained by the efforts of maintaining plant or church. These people should be freed to dream dreams and work in effective groups, without feeling obliged to maintain the status quo.

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