I thought I’d provide an update as to what NYNO has been up to and what we hope to be doing in the near future.
We continue to run our two groups in a sheltered accommodation complex. The first group meets monthly and has moved from being a familiar minister led service to one based around a communal meal structured by set prayers and actions in which all participate together. The second group is smaller and meets most weeks, and would have been recognisable to most as a Bible study. That two has moved to so as to have a worshipful meal format in which young children and be kept at the heart of the meeting, rather than kept quiet during the adult talking time.
Over the summer Julie and I have really begin to give our attention to the practical questions of an every age meeting, particularly accessible to older people. The change in our worship to a format based around a meal was done with the idea in the back of our minds of finding a format in which young and old and can worship together. But it was, if you like, only a first step. There remains the question of how to invite the younger people to worship with us!
As with everything we’ve done, we’re not rushing to answer this question. One step at a time! That has, so to speak, been our mantra: take one step, reflect, listen, take the next step. You have to have some plans, but you need to hold them lightly, letting everyone be involved as you take the next one step.
Perhaps strangely, taking your time such a big change and allowing people to contribute can mean you have time on your hands, so in the meantime, I’m planning to put together a small booklet. This would together our reflections to date, and more easily allow people to follow what we’ve been doing date and amongst other things, get to grips with our notion of ‘first class church’, put into practice a reflective and participative cycle of leadership, pick up and use our liturgies and – if you like! – follow our bread recipes …
In addition we’ve been compiling some notes on Barth’s Church Dogmatics, IV.3.2 par.72 on ‘The Holy Spirit and the Sending of the Christian Community’: very helpful for clarifying the relationship between Church and mission. Hopefully they will be posted before too long.
Of course, once again, if you’d like to know more about NYNO, or have a conversation about starting your own church in Sheltered Accommodation (or indeed in a care or nursing home) we’d be more than happy to talk to you.