From the Minister



From the Minister

June 2024

Dear Friends,

A post recently read on Facebook said “A routine church is a rotten church” and that got me thinking.  The context in which it was written implies that a church stuck in its ways and doing everything ‘because it has always been done this way’ has stopped listening to the call of the Holy Spirit and is therefore dying and to a certain extent I agree.  The church needs to be able to change and adapt when God calls and failure to do so means that a church has lost its reason to exist, that is, to seek to faithfully follow the way of God’s kingdom.

There is however another part of me that wants to protest at the idea that routine itself is inherently bad.  I am a creature of habit and routine helps me to focus and feel energised.  I am also aware that for some, lack of routine can be detrimental, or even destructive.  In terms of routine within the church and particularly within worship, familiar structures help us to place ourselves within an act of worship and to participate more fully.  A familiar liturgy or hymn can also be profoundly comforting in times of stress and distress, when we have no spiritual energy to find our own words.  It is then that we can rest in the familiar and allow well known words to pray for us ‘with sighs too deep for words’ as Romans 8 says.

What about you?  Do you enjoy and appreciate routine or does it feel like a burden that holds you back?  How do you respond when things change and are different and what helps you in those situations?  What aspects of worship are most important to you and what would you like to change?  You might want to think about your own prayer routines too and think about what helps you to make space for God.  We can pray to God at any time and in any place, but if we don’t set aside specific times for prayer then other things can quickly take over our God time.

Finally, although we may find that we thrive on particular routines in prayer and God time, we need to remember that everyone is different and what works for us may not be life giving for our neighbour.  Flexibility in understanding and allowing for different styles and expressions in our shared worship is important in making these times accessible to all.  If we can manage a balance of the familiar and the flexible then hopefully our routines will be able to feed us and others.

God bless.