Chapel A doesn’t have a top-down approach to vision. The first question we want to ask any person joining us is, ‘What vision has Jesus given you?’ We love to see people discovering who they are as children of God and living in the joy of that. Sometimes that will mean supporting people in their neighbourhood or workplace, sometimes it will mean helping them find a place to serve or even create a new place to serve.
Even so, there are a few themes that we keep coming back to:
Encountering God is at the centre of who we are. Whether that is through personal prayer, collective worship or down the pub, we long for everyone to meet with God personally. Having met Jesus and a person and knowing God’s Spirit in our lives is what motivates and empowers us to do all the other stuff we do. When we meet we will always give time to prayer and worship, because we need God to keep working in our lives. We don’t want to just know about God, we want to know God. Studying the life of Jesus and the teaching of the scriptures helps us to grow in our understanding, but we also want to encounter God today, who is present with us everywhere.
BEING AN INCLUSIVE CHURCH
We have always wanted to be an inclusive church, but we didn’t always have the language to describe that desire. For a long time we focussed on the need for children and young people to feel that they belonged as part of Chapel A. More recently, we took the step of intentionally stating our desire to welcome and include LGBTQ+ people in our family. Right now, we are exploring how to be more open to folk who experience neurodiversity, mental illness and physical disability.
BEING COMMUNITY IN THE COMMUNITY
Chapel A people are friendly people. We like spending time together! When we think of God’s work in the world (often called Mission), we want to join in with that together. We don’t want anyone to feel they are serving God alone, whether that be in a workplace, family, neighbourhood or community project. We are a community and we serve our wider community together. In fact, we see that when others notice us serving together, it’s our very togetherness that makes the good news of Jesus attractive. We don’t want to keep this special family of God just to ourselves – it’s for sharing.
BEING GLOBAL CITIZENS
When we look out across the world it’s clear that we have been given a lot of privilege, power and wealth, even if we don’t always feel it. When someone asked Jesus who their neighbour was, he answered by telling a story that showed that being a neighbour is not about living close to someone, but about caring for a stranger in need. We try to be good neighbours of our brothers and sisters around the world.