‘Growing in faith, love and action’
Using the gifts God has given us, we shall continually work to be a more welcoming, loving and caring church family, and to be a source of light and hope to our neighbours. We commit to being more Christ-like in all we do.
Breaking open the Vision statement
Open, inclusive, informal, flexible and friendly, embracing everyone who wants to join us for worship or for any of our activities and groups. We welcome those who are exploring and inquiring whether there is anything to faith and those who have questions. We travel together on a journey through life, exploring and developing our understanding of our faith, exploring and listening together. We recognise and celebrate the fact that we might all be at different places in our journey, with different and diverse views. We provide various styles of worship and a range of activities and groups that aim to appeal to a wide range of people. We don’t ask you to leave your brain at the door; we prefer asking questions for you to consider and reflect upon, to reach your own conclusions. We engage constructively with feedback and are happy to involve people in our groups and services whenever they feel ready to do so. We consult our congregation frequently and listen carefully to what is fed back.
‘God is love and we are his children. There is no fear in love. We love because God loved us first.’ We are a community of imperfect humans. Some people call Christians hypocrites because they perceive that we expect everyone else to be perfect despite our own failings – nothing could be further from the truth. We are all striving to do the best we can each day, to live according to the very high standard set by Jesus’ teachings. We accept each other as people who, at times, get things wrong. We support each other, forgive each other, share the sort of love a community needs to keep on working at getting better, individually and collectively. We come to church not because we think we are perfect, but because we know we are not.
We try to be sensitive and attentive to the needs of others, both within our own faith community and also to all our neighbours – the people of Penicuik and surrounding areas. We aim to ease burdens in times of trouble and provide encouragement during our struggles. We share each other’s joys, and delight in celebrating with them. We are patient and listen (but could always do with being more patient and better listeners!), and we have generous and understanding hearts. Where appropriate we provide practical support or know where to refer people. We also care for our neighbours around the world; recognising that how we live our lives has a global impact.
We come together through a variety of different services to understand our part in God’s mission, to make time to be open to God and to have a shared experience of worshipping together. Our primary service is a service of Holy Communion on a Sunday, where we come together to celebrate the Lord’s Supper. We also find different styles of worship that help inspire us and prepare us for service to the community we live in. We wish to invite people to share in the experience of worshipping together and coming to know God’s love for them. Our faith is not static; we are challenged by living in a first world country in the 21st century and have to work at how our faith informs our decisions, values and behaviours. We meet and support each other to discuss our faith, to study what the Bible is saying to us here and now.
Source of light and hope:
The teachings of Jesus give us hope, challenge us to make a positive and constructive impact, and be a light in the world. We are encouraged to go out in to the world, to live our beliefs in our daily lives, inspired and motivated by Jesus’ example of love for all people, to bring healing and wholeness of life, responding to human need. Our actions will normally speak far more effectively than any words we may speak.
We acknowledge Jesus Christ as our model and example of how to live our lives, and the way through which we can come to know and love God. We strive to live our lives according to Jesus’ teachings. We try to discern the Holy Spirit within ourselves and in others, to guide and lead us through our lives. We believe the Holy Spirit helps us to respond to the challenges set for us in the Bible, of being the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. We do not always achieve this, we often have to say sorry, and once again try to do better. Our Bible studies and exploration of scripture through our sermons and reflections all help us think about ‘what would Jesus do?’, and what the Holy Spirit might be guiding us to do. We ask each other questions, while recognising that we don’t have all the answers.