Loving God. Asking questions. Learning more. Having faith. Following Jesus. Room for doubts. Lots of people. Old ones, young ones. Stressed ones, sunny ones. Bouncy toddlers, tired parents. Coo-ing babies, sometimes screaming. All together, trying, believing.
Guests are welcome. Just looking. Some faith. No faith. Other faith. Jeffery’s Aunty or Judy’s mum.
Communion service: bread and wine. Café service: coffee and croissant. Visiting preachers: bringing God’s word. Baptisms, weddings, funerals: smiles and tissues.
St Ives Methodist Church (SIMC) is a small fish swimming in the big sea of the Methodist Church. There are lots of fish and they all look a bit different.
If you came along to one of our services you would find a mix of people. There are the old faithfuls, who’ve been around longer than they care to admit. They’ve seen a thing or two and their faith has endured through wars, rationing, revolution, the good times and the bad. Then there’s all the different families: nuclear; step; single; blissfully happy; a little bit broken… They can usually be found in the Children’s corner dishing out raisins and wiping noses. They’re busy at work, at home, at school and Church is a breather to stop and remember the bigger picture, to spend a morning as a family and to reconnect with God and each other. Then there’s the people who work, work, work; and the ones who are off sailing their boats all week. There’s always a seat warm for those who feel a bit lost or lonely. Generally we’re a mixed bag, as Forest Gump said it’s like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get.
If you asked us what kind faith we have, we’d probably start with questions and doubts. There are always questions and doubts when it comes to faith, but some people just don’t like to talk about them. If you pushed us, there are a few things which are important to us as Christians here at SIMC though…
- We believe God created and loves all of us. We can discuss how long it took, or why there are tears and pain, but at the heart of our faith is the belief that God is real and God cares.
- We believe that Jesus was a real person, who lived on earth, taught us amazing things about being human and finding God, and we try to follow him and the things he taught. We believe, somehow though the mystery of God, he was fully human and fully divine and we believe that when he died on the cross and came back from death to live again, he made a way for us. So that we can find a way back to God, so that death is not the end, so that we don’t need to be afraid.
- And we believe that God’s presence is with us by his Spirit. That he helps us get the most out of life, find inner peace, make wrongs right. We believe there’s even room for miracles, big ones and little ones too.
Finally, there are a couple of things which are important to us as a Christian community…
- We seek to welcome all ages in our services and events. Some events may be directed towards certain age groups whether young in years or young at heart, but we try to make Sunday morning a place where we are God’s family together.
- We are open to all, whether rich or poor. Regular members confidentially give what they feel comfortable with to the church, but we do not expect guests to contribute financially. To this end, we do not pass an offering plate around during the service, but leave them by the entrances for people to make their donations. At some point during the service these offerings are brought forward to offer to God.
- We believe men and women are equal and are equally able to fulfill work and ministry. We do not limit women within our leadership structures, but welcome their contributions to all aspects of church life.
Please visit us over at http://www.simc.co.uk to discover more.