Who has pottered by this way, then?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Rural ministry

Rural ministry is where:

  • Small is often not only beautiful but a 'given'.
  • The church is often the Last Public Service Provider Standing.
  • Being curators of an ancient monument (the church building) is hard to see as an honour, rather than a bottomless pit of time, money and effort at times.
  • The prayerful stillness (if seldom silence) of the church building reminds you that its purpose is as a place to be sent out from as much as to gather with others in.
  • Incognito travel is never possible.
  • Opportunity is there to serve the community, but there are possibly as many agendas for how this is to be done as there are members of the congregation.
  • A church can make a significant impact on its community, especially with other services being more distant.
  • The church buildings somehow still feel as though they truly belong to the community - even to those who never pop in.
  • Keeping the congregation warm can cost more than your parish share.
  • The community served by a church probably has a small voice on its own, but our networks can amplify them to make their needs heard, if we are able to work co-operatively internally and externally.
  • Ancient stones are a witness in themselves.
  • We are often the custodians of the village's story through our records and our continuity.
  • Loving our neighbours is a necessity as well as a Gospel imperative: the village is your peer group and you're stuck with each other.
Please do add to this very partial list of my ruminations with your own thoughts...

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