you belong to a - what?
Recently a neighbour mentioned that a local pool has a 10-year waitlist. This is a baffling number. I’ve never belonged to a swimming pool and probably never will. I actually can’t remember joining anything ever officially. Except church. But saying “I belong to an Anglican church” probably doesn’t conjure up the same kind of emotions as “I belong to a pool”… but what does it say?
And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. Acts 2:42
The New Testament is chock-a-block full of references to the commitment that people made to their local community of believers. The church emerged in the first few centuries after the resurrection as the hub of faith - a place of belonging, of worship and a space to learn, to relate to others and to welcome people from every background on the earth to meet the risen Lord.
Belonging to a community of believers has never been an optional extra for a christian - it’s simply what you need to do in order to flourish as a Christ-follower. But as we have seen through the centuries, christians have different ways and styles and modes of worship and so the church has diversified and grown richer as different cultures have found ways to love God in meaningful styles for their context. We live in such an accessible area that it is highly possible to find a community that will reflect your personal style of worship. I love the Global Church. I love to sing in different ways, and languages. I love that there is scripture in so many heart languages - and I long for the day when everyone can read the Bible in their own mother tongue. The church may have its problems, but at its best, it is - and should be - a place where we can be ‘at home’. A place where with our brothers and sisters in Christ we can worship, wonder and welcome others.
And so at Incarnation we are inviting you to ‘join’ us. To sign a bit of paper which says you want to be a committed part of this group of believers. That you will covenant to devote yourself to the teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. As part of joining you are saying that you believe in Jesus, and that you want to be an active participant in this specific part of the global body of believers. You commit to giving deliberately and generously, knowing why and how much you are giving (we offer the tithe as a starting point benchmark, but what you give will be between you and God). You will also give of your time and skills - committing to help to grow the body of Christ through inviting your friends, through investing in praying for others, in joining the team of Sunday volunteers, in delighting to know and love those who are different from yourself but who also love Jesus. Deciding that your home church will be Incarnation.
We may not have a pool - but we do have fun!
Questions? Email Liz, firstname.lastname@example.org