In just one week, Ecclesia Church will start worshipping together weekly for the first time! We’re really excited about this next step, and I wanted to share with you a bit of what we have in store for our gatherings.
First of all, the details. We’ll be meeting on Saturday evenings at 6 pm, beginning on September 9th. Our first gathering (on the 9th) will be at Jana & Jeremy Koh’s house (my house!) - and we’ll host subsequent gatherings in different team members’ homes. If you’d like to join us, just send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I’ll let you know the address - that way, we’re not advertising friends’ homes on the Internet!
What can you expect? Well, you can expect a small gathering of folks longing to go deeper in their spiritual journey. Some of us are people of deep faith and have been part of the Christian church for a long time. Others of us may be newer to the Christian faith or asking questions about what it means to follow Jesus. And still others may be somewhere in the middle. No matter where you fall on that spectrum - expect to be welcomed into a loving space, and expect to be able to participate.
We’ll start our time together with some singing, led by one or more of our Core Team members. This time will also probably include some prayer, some readings from the Bible, and maybe some other words from our leaders. Then, we’ll unpack a few verses from the Bible together. To do that, someone from our team will lead us in reading our words for the week, maybe more than once. Then, we’ll have five questions to guide some discussion time. We’ll ask:
- What can this passage teach us about God?
- What can it teach us about people?
- What else can we learn?
- If you believed this, how could you put it into practice?
- What would be the advantages of that practice? What would be the disadvantages?
All of us around the circle will have the opportunity to reflect and share our thoughts together, as much or as little as we feel comfortable. For some of us, we may jump at the chance to tackle some big questions together and seek out answers. For others of us, it may feel a little intimidating, or we may prefer to listen and glean from others’ thoughts as we process our own. And, again, some will fall in the middle. Of course, if you’re there with us on a Saturday night, we want to hear from you - but we’ll understand and respect your silence if you don’t feel comfortable jumping in right away.
As often as possible, we’ll participate in a special moment called Communion. In communion, we eat bread and drink wine (well, for us it will be “wine”…and by that we mean grape juice) to symbolize the body and blood of Jesus Christ in his sacrifice for us. We remember Jesus’ great gift of grace and salvation for our behalf. We actually get to taste and see how good our great God is. For those who aren’t used to this, it might sound strange - but as we grow to understand how God moves in this moment, it will take on more and more meaning for us as a community of faith together. In our celebration of Communion, you are welcome to participate or not; it’s okay to watch until you understand a bit more of what’s going on, or you can jump right in with us.
Finally, we’ll end with a bit more prayer and singing, and be sent out into all the places we live, work, study, and play with a renewed sense of love for our God and love for our neighbours.
We hope we’ll see you on a Saturday evening sometime soon! Again - if you’d like to join us, just send me an email (email@example.com) and I’ll give you the address of where we’ll be meeting (as our hosts don’t want to advertise their home address on the internet!).