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READINGS:  James 1:19-27; James 2:14-20

Last Sunday we used an article from a recent MacLean’s magazine as a starting point for exploring some of the factors that need to be in place for a congregation like Wesley to thrive. You’ll recall that the article was based on a research project which concluded that the only mainline congregations that were growing were those built upon a more conservative theology, which brought with it what is known as a “Strictness” expectation of what it meant to be a member. While there has been considerable criticism of the research and its conclusions, it DOES offer a useful review of how conservative churches manage to grow.

It also challenges us to identify the different kinds of factors that might need to be present for a more liberally-oriented church like Wesley to expand its ministry. We looked at 5 elements:  Identifying Good News stories    Sharing & Celebrating these stories   Supporting Good News Makers   Recruiting others to our Good News team.   Church as Training Centre (not sanctuary for saints)   Today, I’m inviting you to join with me in imagining how that might take shape here at Wesley as we begin to clarify our mission and proclaim our faith as a “marketplace church.”  New United Church Creed: (provides a summary of what “being the church” means.   “God calls us to be the Church :   – to celebrate God’s presence;   -- to live with respect in Creation;   -- to love and serve others,       -- to seek justice and resist evil,       -- to proclaim Jesus, crucified and risen,             our judge and our hope.”

How Do We:  Celebrate God’s Presence?

a) currently     

b) moving forward  

(e.g. Sunday worship: prayer, meditation, singing, small groups …)

 

Live with Respect in Creation? 

a) currently     

b) moving forward  

(e.g. ‘Green’ Suggestions, recycling, environmental support groups …)

 

Love and Serve Others? 

a) currently     

b) moving forward  

(e.g. pastoral care and visiting, prayer lists, being an Affirming congregation, monthly grocery cart project, Edna Light’s Soup Kitchen, support groups …)

Seek Justice and Resist Evil? 

a) currently     

b) moving forward  

(e.g.  Sermons, study groups, national church positions, …)

 

 Proclaim Jesus?    

a) crucified and risen     (Our ‘Foundational Story’)     

b) judge and hope     (‘Model for fully Human’)  

(e.g. Sunday worship, Bible study, …)

 

If we did this, would we feel more excited about ourselves as a faith community? Would we have Good News stories to share – with each other and other people as well? What resources have we identified that could support and train us as Good News agents? Would we be excited about inviting others to join us in making a difference in our world?

 

“Whoever catches a glimpse of the revealed counsel of God—the free life!—even out of the corner of his eye, and sticks with it, is no distracted scatterbrain but a man or woman of action. That person will find delight and affirmation in the action. Anyone who sets himself up as “religious” by talking a good game is self-deceived. This kind of religion is hot air and only hot air. Real religion, the kind that passes muster before God the Father, is this: Reach out to the homeless and loveless in their plight, and guard against corruption from the godless world.”

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jesus stained glass wesley united

Beautiful Stained Glass

Conveniently Located

Nestled in the heart of downtown Cambridge, only a few steps from City Hall and the Cambridge Farmer's Market.

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About Us

Wesley is situated in the historic civic square in downtown Galt, adjacent to the Cambridge Farmer’s Market, the historic City Hall, and the new City Administration building.
Wesley is part of the United Church of Canada, the largest Protestant denomination in our country. The United Church of Canada prides itself on welcoming everyone the way Jesus did, regardless of age, race, class, gender, orientation, or physical ability.

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Wesley United Church

6 Cambridge St.
Cambridge, ON
N1R 3R6

Office Hours
Tuesday to Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm

Phone

519-621-6060

Sunday Services

Beginning at 10:30am

United Church of Canada

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