If you've been keeping up on here and social media, you will remember that following our move to Falkirk this time last year, and after a bit of searching, we ended up in a completely new Church setting, namely Falkirk Vineyard (find out more about them at www.FalkirkVineyard.com).
Well, over the past few months we have further integrated with the fellowship there, made some really special friendships, and got involved with various activities and ministries. Carol-Anne and I are both on the kids team, and I am now a trustee. Our kids have also made some great new friends and are always excited to go to Church.
As I wrote in an earlier blog piece on this move, the phrase "Church in the Community" is the opening line of Falkirk Vineyard's mission statement. This really hit home to me and I've been enjoying learning more and seeing doors open in the local area. But now, this phrase becomes even more real for us, as from this Sunday, Falkirk Vineyard is relocating to the Camelon Community Centre, so we will literally be able to attend Church in our Community again! (Look out for a special invite at the end of this post!)
But this is more than just about attending a church service on a Sunday. Being "Church in the Community" means exactly that - getting involved in the life of the community through the whole week and not just for the hour or so on a Sunday. So, over the last few weeks, various activities have been taking place at the Centre whereby many of our church people have been able to not just be Church in the Community, but also to enact the second part of the mission statement - Serving the Community. This is from as simple an act as attending and supporting the community café in the centre which many of the families did during the school holidays, to building shelving in a few of the storage cupboards - some for the church benefit but others for the benefit of the various community activities. One other activity has been led by our girls who looked at the outside areas and wanted to tidy them up. This involved litter picking, weeding, sweeping and other similar tasks. So, over 3 Saturdays so far, the girls, assisted by us and a few other families, have been busy cleaning up these outside areas, much to the delight of the volunteers who look after the centre and to the general confusion of local passers-by who are obviously wondering why people would give any care to this place. But that is exactly why we were doing this. Because we do care and the people in Camelon deserve to know that people care for them. (See the images below for Before and After views - you can click each image to enlarge it).
Last Sunday, there was plenty of activity as we moved all the church equipment and resources to the Centre and there was such an excitement amongst the church family about this new chapter in the church existence. God has called the church to be active in a community, and here is the community that they had been preparing for over the last 3 1/2 years.
So it's a big week for Falkirk Vineyard Church and also for the community of Camelon. It's also quite special for us as a family, as we further understand why God called us to move to this area. There's other things bubbling under but we'll save them for another day! I'll simply end with an invitation to you if you're in the Falkirk area, and especially the Camelon district, to come and join us this or any Sunday from 1030. We have a full kids programme catering for 6 months to 2; 2 to pre school; P1-P3 and P4-P7, plus a youth group for S1 upwards. There's lots of other things going on too. Infact, this Sunday is as good a time as any to come along, as after church (from about 1pm), we will be holding our annual Summer BBQ in the grounds of the Community Centre. We will have some very exciting inflatables and games. Alongside the annual game of rounders, football, and races, we will also have Giant Jenga and Giant Connect 4; An adult friendly Bouncy Castle; Inflatable Jousting and Sumo Suits (Adult only). There will be much more happening on the day with face painting, marshmallow roasting etc, so bring your friends, neighbours, your families, and their kids and we'd love to see you there. Get in touch with me if you want any more information.