Then today finally, talking with a member of the team I realised that today was the day. In talking with her, I realised or maybe accepted (briefly) that God did not use people that had it all sorted, or were the bravest or the most obvious. The stories in the Bible are full of people who disagreed, doubted, ran away and questioned the voice of God. Those people who asked 'why me' or maybe 'is it me?'
About me - I grew up in a Church, I loved the people in that community as they were kind, compassionate and I saw their faith. I came to faith within that Church community. However, as I moved away from home and went to other Churches I began to recognise a 'not fitting in sort of feeling' For many years I thought it was just me, the God that these places spoke of was not one that I recognised. I do not think that it was anything about the people in those places, it was just that I had not found a place that I could relate with. Over the years I have come to realise that there are other people who feel like this.
So, why this? Why now? For some considerable time the Ark team and other people who feel the 'not quite fitting in feeling' have been talking about writing this type of blog. During our work we have been privileged to meet a whole variety of people and shared conversations with them. What is apparent is that for many Church is not a place where they would go, there are all sorts of reasons for this, but I suppose the issue remains that a gap exists between our established Churches and parts of our communities.
Our aim is that together, we can explore ways to make faith relevant in today's culture as we feel that there are many ways of experiencing God. My recent analogy is that it is like walking into a clothes store and only having one pair of jeans to try on and that one pair is meant to fit and suit everyone. Highly unlikely! Yet often with our Church, we have one size and we are all expected to fit - like the jeans! Of course, not everyone does!
For me, God is all around, each day in everything I do. I want people to know that God and understand that there are many ways that we can meet with him. Some do it through community gardens, through book clubs, walking, drawing, singing etc etc. How we feel God's presence in our lives is personal and we all have our stories. Church can take different shapes. A part of what we seek to do is to create spaces where these forms of 'other' can flourish and people can share that with each other. We are actively seeking people who may want to explore different ways of doing faith.
So here we are writing about our stories of faith and our journey with God. We hope that you will find some of it interesting and that you may recognise or relate to something that we talk about and that may cause you to look at faith and maybe God differently.
If at any point you would like to get in touch, please do.