We recently established a Shared Ministry Development Team at Belmont church. A couple of months ago, the team came up with the idea of trialling a new evening gathering. After some discussion, the name Oasis emerged - along with the idea that this was to be an oasis of peace, a place of refreshment, and a refuelling point for life - an oasis on Sunday evening before a busy week starts again on Monday. A place to relax, reflect, be restored and refreshed.
We met to plan. And we came up with too many ideas that we couldn't decide between! So we have decided that for this three month trial, we will try three different approaches. At the end, we will evaluate and ask for feedback - we might not continue, we might decide one approach worked best and stick with that in the future, or we might decide to continue with a mix of styles from month to month. Who knows?!
This slide presentation introduces the idea: more details below!
Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires
Roughly speaking, we have decided that the 'shape' of each of the three trials will be similar, following a threefold pattern: relax, reflect, restore. That is, first a section facilitating the particpants to relax into God's presence; then a section of 'input' and reflection; then a section which facilitates returning to everyday life, refreshed by the experience and hopefully taking new insights, or going out having made some new connections between faith and life.
We are loosely inspired by the way in which Messy Church plays with and deconstructs liturgical structure and elements. We want to see if that can be done in a more contemplative, even 'mystical' (dare I say, to quote Mark Tanner, an 'introvert charismatic') way.
I'll post more in the future about how each of the three sessions are going to be done, and how each went!