Wednesday, 21 October 2015

God in the neighbourhood

John 1:14
The Word became flesh and blood,
and moved into the neighborhood.

We've just moved to a new home and are enjoying exploring our new community, especially the plethora of coffee shops and restaurants.
Our daughter was excited to discover, the week after we moved, that the local Episcopal church was hosting a Pet Blessing service. At the service, our Border Collie was blessed, along with a number of other dogs, 8 cats, whose pictures were presented on their humans' mobile phones, two rabbits and a goldfish. The life of St Francis of Assisi, whose feast day was approaching was remembered and celebrated in story and song.
Over refreshments after the service, a pet psychologist was on hand to answer questions.
It was a lovely introduction to the community of pet owners living around the church and, in particular, the dog walkers, some of whom we already recognised from our outings on the seafront.
We discovered that the church has built quite a rapport with the dog walking community, providing teas, coffees and snacks on Fridays in the church hall, where dogs and their owners are welcome. It is gaining a reputation as a dog friendly church.
The leadership team saw an opportunity to connect with the community around them and have engaged in effective mission.
In discussions about the Path of Renewal,  we often speak of the need to discern what God is doing in the neighbourhood and then go and join in. That will more often be in the small and quirky than in the big and bold. It seems that, in this neighbourhood, it is amidst the doggie tales that grace abounds and love walks on four legs as well as on two.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting - I am a Street Pastor in my nearby small town and often get the opportunity to engage someone who might just have walked past by approaching or admiring their dog.