Minister's Letter - November 2016
Rev Peter Cornick
Rev Peter CornickA discussion took place in the Church about the Evening Service which was very encouraging. Encouraging because of the openness with which people spoke; encouraging because of the willingness to embrace difference and change.

The conversation concerned Evening Worship on the third Sunday of the month. The new ‘Connect’ Service provides a different style of worship in the Dovetail Centre on that day. The music is usually led by a band and there is more of a ‘café’ feel. Its mission is to reach the ‘missing generation’ although it is open to everyone. In the ‘6.30’ Service, the worship is more reflective; quieter. One is not better than the other – indeed I would maintain one is not ‘contemporary’ and the other ‘traditional’. They are different. But it is not easy to have ‘louder’ and ‘quieter’ at the same time for obvious reasons. So the conversation with the ‘6.30’ congregation was, how can we co-exist? Or is there a different way?

St Andrew’s in Eastleigh are a smaller evening congregation who support some of our Evening Services. What if we were to support their evening Communion Service and make a good sized congregation? It would foster a sense of belonging to one another and a sharing of fellowship. The Circuit Mission Statement says:

“We will explore, develop and unlock opportunities for mission in each church so that the Good News of Jesus Christ can be proclaimed.”

The congregation, through flexibility and the willingness to embrace change, have ‘unlocked’ mission. That of the new ‘Connect’ Service so that it can be more flexible in set up, timing and outreach, and of St Andrew’s whose Communion Service will become more sustainable. In both, Good News will be heard. From January, on the third Sunday, the ‘6.30’ service will be at St Andrew’s, whilst ‘Connect’ will be at Chandler’s Ford. Transport issues to St Andrew’s for some friends are actively being resolved.

Listening to one another, engaging in conversation, developing fellowship and support, seeking mission – this is holy living; this is being the body of Christ.