Small Churches are Vital and Wonderful: Part 3
|May 5, 2016||Posted by stchris under Messages||
And here is some more on why. A couple of months ago, Bishop Chilton Knudsen did a workshop on small churches. For ten years, she was the bishop of a diocese with lots of small churches and so, she would know and got to witness how wonderful and vital they are. She shared a list of the things that makes small churches so wonderful and I have, over the last few weeks, been sharing these characteristics with you. One aspect of small churches that make them good places to be is that they act as community centers. Bishop Chilton notes:
- Small churches are a resource to their communities. They can provide meeting space and opportunities for ecumenical cooperation with neighboring churches
- Small churches have (and if not, should strive to have) an identity in the community which affirms the special mission of that church to the community.
- Small churches welcome 12-step programs and other support groups as an act of gracious hospitality, not to build a pool of potential new members.
St. Christopher’s is blessed with a beautiful and spacious building. There is plenty of space for St. Christopher’s members to worship, share meals and fellowship, do fundraisers, have choir rehearsal, and any number of other activities and still have room for a whole other congregation. On top of that, we have two twelve step programs meeting here. Our neighbors have their birthday parties and baby showers here. Arundel House of Hope has counted on St. Christopher’s for years, decades now to host Winter Relief at least once a year and now, the AHOH’s Family Project finds a home here for their after school program. Our building is a stop on the ecumenical Lenten Cross Walk. Even though we are on two dead end streets surrounded by mature trees, people know we are here. Our community garden is a landmark for travelers on the light rail, a place to dig for neighbors wanting to garden, and a source of fresh food for those who are hungry.
A small church can have enough space. St. Christopher’s certainly does have enough space. And we make good use of the building and land in service to the community and to the glory of God.