The tide’s receded now –
Far out a distant murmur of the surf,
A silver thread of foam against the darkening sky.
Above the cliffs the seagulls fly,
Their plaintive cry
Echoes with haunting sadness,
Resounds around the engine houses’ crumbling walls.
Seaweed lies forsaken on the sculptured sand
And limpets cling with blind determination
In faith the water will return once more.
And will it Lord?
Will the tide turn
As we cling
To pews and pulpits, the hymn book rocks of other times?
Will the tide turn, and prayer, like the western wind
Send waves of living water, Spirit storms
To crash again on Kernow’s shore?
Lord of our Celtic yesterdays and hope of bright tomorrows.
Pour into our present!
Empower your people once again.
Lift us from our passive clinging to the rocks of ages past
To joyous freedom, brave and bold to face this day.
Give us the grace to let our cherished chapels die
But shout your Gospel to the open sky
Of tomorrow’s brand new day
And leave our outgrown shells beneath the tide of half forgotten dreams
To join the tin mines and the clay pits
The pilchard sheds and all the monuments to the pride of other years,
And bring instead the message of salvation,
The living Christ who calls us
And asks us, ‘Do you really love me more than these?’
So where do we go from here? This week we had a day of prayer as the Circuit sees a new Superintenent minister. People were asked to write their vision for the future and add it t the folder 'I dreamed a dream'. Here are some of the resulting ideas.
I dream of choosing five churches across the circuit to remain open and selling the others. With the money raised we could develop the remaining buildings as centres of worship excellence on the following lines.
Each person would be a member of the Circuit, not a particular congregation so they could choose their place and style of worship each week.
In every village community we would have a class meeting / cell group / house group meeting weekly for fellowship, prayer, in depth Bible Study, real discipleship training - and food and fun! Every member would be expected to attend their local group regularl, as the early Methodists did.
There would also be a Circuit outreach team to aid and resource each of the churches in their mission.
I dream..... I dream......
I dream of closing all but one of our traditional chapels. Restore that one and make it the best ever - traditional but not fossilized, relevant, challenging but with worship and preaching in a traditional style.
Wth the remaining cash from the sale of the buildings construct a new church with a sanctuary and a 24/7 prayer room and because this area lacks any facilities, a small swimming pool, gym, soft play and cafe - and adequate parking.
We could also purchase a minibus or two to provide transport for the few who do not drive.
(If they really close the Leisure Centre at Camelford we could close all our current churches, buy the Centre and run it not only as a facility for our communities but as a centre for outreach and worship as well - every day of the week!)
Almighty God, we are so good at talking,
we excel at holding meetings and taking minutes.
Forgive our tendency for endless words.
By the power of your Holy Spirit,
turn our words into actions,
serving others as you also served.
Forgive us when we sit back in the armchairs of our comfortable world,
watching others in crisis and pain.
Lord, help us to engage our faith,
to be involved,
not standing at a distance,
but in participation with our neighbours,
that we may truly be your Church,
kneeling before our communities with humility and compassion:
supporting the vulnerable,
seeking the lost,
searching out the lonely,
welcoming the stranger,
with your transforming love. Amen