I met with my vicar a few weeks ago as we've been in our new church since we moved, and now it's been 8 months I feel pretty settled there and want to contribute more.
In typical church style I've now got three or four things on the go, which is perhaps a bit much to bite off but some are one-off things!
One thing I'm really excited about is our vicar's desire to make our church a more obvious place of prayer. At the entrance just now is a book table crammed full of leaflets, another table full of hymn books and service sheets, and a sign letting everyone know that it costs £300 a day to run the church (stupid beautiful old buildings!)
I've been thinking about how it would be more prayerful (and welcoming and interesting to the community at the same time). The only inspiration I've had so far is from 24/7 prayer rooms I've been to - all the rooms I've been to are such diverse and stimulating places I could spend hours in them, and even if just reading a visitor book or seeing people's artwork it's an amazing encouragement to glimpse parts of other people's journeys.
A few years ago I might have been cynical and said there's something suspect about creating an atmosphere in which we feel drawn to prayer - isn't that fake? But with life being so frantic a little silence is a huge blessing, and there's nothing wrong with drawing inspiration from the world around us to give us a helping hand and keep things fresh.
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