No, not a fresh expression in response to the rising number of overweight people. My old chum Andy Griffiths is launching a novel approach at his church in Chelmsford. The pattern for a Sunday morning has become a series of segments:
■ 9.30am-10am liturgical, usually choir-based worship, usually without a sermon.
■ 10am-10.30am. Coffee
■ 10.30am-11am will be the core. Here there will usually be teaching by sermon, video or a choice of different modules of teaching to allow for different learning styles, from a lecture
or a discussion to “messy church” opportunities to make things. The core will always be accessible for new and non-regular worshippers, who may feel unfamiliar with traditional worship. Once a month Communion will be celebrated in the core. Andy says: “The core is our
chance to get together as one church family.”
■ More coffee from 11am-11.30am leads to:
■ Band-based worship from 11.30am-12 noon. Andy adds: “The feel will be contemporary, the liturgy will be minimal, the welcome will be warm.”
■ Children will be catered for in a variety of ways right through a Sunday morning.
Full details here (click on the June 2010 issue - at time of writing the current one - and go to page 3). People can come when they want and go when they like. Looks like its the result of a serious consultation with the whole church, and is an interesting way of trying to be 'all together in one place' whilst catering for a variety of musical tastes, learning styles, and stages of faith.
I like the church tagline 'to live ordinary lives, gloriously'. I also like the quantities of coffee! Following some of the discussion about men in church a few days ago, I also note that you can be in this church for a 1 1/2 hr block on Sunday and not have to sing.