We see ourselves as disciples of Jesus Christ, learning to live his way in the world. In our activities together we seek to help each other grow in faith and put our learning into practice. There are three aspects to being a disciple and our activities reflect them:-
● Becoming a disciple
● Growing as a disciple
● Serving as a disciple
Becoming a disciple
Becoming a disciple means making a commitment to follow the Lord Jesus Christ. We believe with Paul (Romans 10: 13) that “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved”. We also take seriously Paul’s questions (Romans 10:14): “But how are they to call on one in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in one of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone to proclaim him?” In addition to proclaiming Jesus in our services we arrange small group meetings to help people make up their own minds about him. Come and see!
Growing as a disciple
We seek to follow the advice Paul gave to the Thessalonians to
”encourage one another and build each other up” (1 Thess. 5: 11).
Essential for growing as disciples is meeting together for worship, so our Sunday morning services are planned with the needs of people of all ages in mind. We gather together to give praise and glory to God and to listen for his word to us. In this we are enabled by teams of singers & instrumentalists who use music of various styles to help us give expression to our prayers and praise.
Meeting regularly with the same small group of people is an important way to encourage and build each other up. Participation in a group is a way of helping others and growing oneself. It is as we come to know and trust each other that we are able to share our deepest concerns and relate the Bible to the practicalities of modern life. In these groups we share our experiences, learn from each other, and pray together.
Social activities are a way to get to know each other and so be better placed to help each other. We serve tea & coffee after each morning service, eat lunch together occasionally, and ceilidhs. We also have a Wednesday Meeting which meets fortnightly on Wednesday afternoons to hear a speaker, and we hold occasional coffee mornings .
Serving as a disciple
We believe we are called together as disciples for a purpose. We are to be a church that heeds Jesus’ instructions in the Great Commandment (Matthew 22: 37-39):
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbour as yourself ”and the Great Commission (Matthew 28: 19-20):
“Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”
We are called to service, and it takes many forms:-
a) For many members it is primarily their work (paid or voluntary) outside the church.
b) For some it is service within the church, leading and sustaining our various activities.
c) There are also things we do together:
· We pray – not only in services, small groups and prayer meetings, but individually in response to prayer requests that are made known in a prayer network to which many members belong.
We welcome prayer requests (contact 0191 281 4676 Monday to Friday 10.00am to 12.00 noon, please leave a message outside these hours).
Sometimes it is tangible gifts. We donate Christmas Gifts for Children. We send harvest gifts to asylum seekers.
Sometimes it is money. Some of it comes from our common budget and the distribution is decided by all members together in Church Meeting. The emphasis is on local projects and those with whom we have some personal connection. We also raise money through occasional appeals. Prominent among these are our collections for the “Commitment for Life” programme of the United Reformed Church. Through this we support projects of Christian Aid and take a particular interest in work in Bangladesh.
We campaign for international debt relief, trade justice and action on climate change. This includes raising the awareness of fairly-traded products.