i've just had a weekend in canberra working on a UCA training kit to help churches think about how they help people come to faith and grow in faith. it's part of the "becoming disciples" project. john emmett has written a training guide which I'll be editing while I work on an accompanying DVD. I was at Kippax UC, where john works with gordon ramsay, interviewing young people and adults who've have been through baptism, confirmation or reaffirmation of baptism, along with their mentors. it was really inspiring to hear people's stories, even as they struggled to explain some of it.
i always love visiting kippax, as it is such a mix of creativity and community - both clear intentions and intentional openness. a congregation of about 300 members with about 1700 people in the building each week... 11 playgroups including one for Muslim women. a whole range of educational and community services, with significant funding coming from beyond the congregation.
yesterday was the start of advent. they're focusing on "Revolution" and used Tracy Chapman's "Talking about a revolution", the Beatles, and U2 ("I Still Haven't Found"). Their theme was about the taste of revolution (tastes like fresh fruit) , so in the middle service (early one = contemplative, middle = multi-sensory, later = multimedia), they had loads of fresh fruit and made fresh fruit juice. all great stuff.
one of the other excellent things about kippax is that the foyer is a cafe with tables and chairs and people can spend the whole morning out there if they wish. each week they put splace mats and other cards on the tables to give people things to think and talk about if they wish. people can come into the building and spend time there, whether or not they feel comfortable coming into worship.