Monday, 14 January 2013

Marking the moments,making memories

We have just celebrated our 5th birthday at the Aire Valley Community church here in West Yorkshire. A few years ago we were invited to a lovely Anglican church in Norfolk to celebrate its 750th birthday, now that’s a celebration!
Regarding our celebration a dear friend asked me ‘why celebrate’? It’s a great question and here is why we think it’s important. 

On the 13th of January 2008 Alan, and our daughter Joanne and her soon to be husband Simon and myself, commenced the church in a small village hall. There were 20 of us on that opening service most of who only came to support. 

Alan and I have church planted before and we knew the pressure of wondering who would show up on this first Sunday. We were so grateful that people honoured us by coming even if it was only to support us. 

So why celebrate? 
Every year on the weekend the church started we remind ourselves that as a gathering of people we have come together for the previous 52 weeks growing as a faith community. Fortunately as the weeks go by people attend and by some miracle decide to stay. 

So why celebrate?
Our growing church family are held together by the highs and lows of each other’s lives and at this birthday celebration we look back and remember.

So why celebrate?
We made a decision that everyone is a part of the story, we do not tippex out anyone who has left, or the parts of our story that went wrong (we took on a building that unfortunately we had to leave, it was an expensive mistake in finances and emotions) and we choose to remember.

So why celebrate?
It helps those coming in to the church at various times in the journey attach themselves to the story. This is so important, we all need to feel we belong, every year we do this we see why it matters when we hear the stories and look at the photographs. 

So why celebrate?
And finally just because its great to have time to be together and celebrate.
Any excuse for a party hey.

Here are a few photographs from this years celebration that we will show again in 2014. 

Marking the moments and making memories