Here at Liberton we have just come to the end of our season of looking ‘inward’ where we’ve been asking the question “What sort of a church do we want to be?” Our next season will be looking ‘outward’ and we are going to spend the summer months in preparation for this.
One of the first things we have to face up to is the reality that for most of us ‘outreach’ is a scary thing. For years our church culture has supported the notion that faith is a ‘private’ thing, and so any suggestion that we share it is met with uncertainty and reluctance.
To say our faith is a ‘private’ thing, however, is to confuse ‘private’ with ‘personal’. It was John Wesley who once said “Your faith may be a personal affair, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be a private one.” To be an outward-looking church is to be a church without walls – i.e. to be a community of Christians who are willing to be visible to the world.
But how do we do outreach? This is the question we are hoping to answer over the summer, and to this end we are inviting you to come back to school. In our Sunday morning service we will be learning from Jesus own teaching on outreach in Luke 10, and in our Sunday evening worship we will be running our first ‘Summer School of Mission’.
The Summer School of Mission will have two distinctive features:
- It will be collaborative. For the two months of July and August we will be joining with our neighbouring congregation of Liberton Northfield; meeting at their church in July, and at Liberton Kirk in August.
- It will be ‘hands-on’. We plan to spend as much time outside as we do inside; meeting together each week to plan and prepare, going out to do, and then coming back to share and review.
Our means of outreach will simply be to think of ways of blessing an area of our parish. This summer we have chosen to target the new houses at Liberton Grange, (while Liberton Northfield will be targeting homes in the Inch). We will be knocking on doors to offer a welcome, some home baking, some useful information about the Kirk Halls and an invitation to a ‘meet the neighbours’ afternoon in the Kirkgate Café.
So, whether you are able to join us, or to supply some home baking, or to remember us in your prayers, your participation would be very welcome.