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A vision for Greenock Lyle Kirk
Need for a vision
The “Model; Basis of Union for Uniting Congregations” is an essential legal document which ultimately has to be approved by each of the respective congregations if Union is to take place. Whilst it deals with important matters such as: the minister; the manse; the property and place or places of worship the composition of the Session and the form of congregational management it does not help congregations to agree on the destination they wish to reach in bringing about a Union and the resources that will be required to get there.
The Committee believes the proposed Union has to be about much more than simply welding three churches together. It has be about creating a new church in the West End of Greenock that is fit for purpose for the 21st Century, able to meet the spiritual and pastoral need of everyone who lives or works in the expanded Parish and which becomes firmly established as an integral part of the community it serves..
In drawing up this statement, we are mindful of the words from Proverbs (ch29 v18)
“Where there is no vision the people perish.”
Central to the life of the local community
The new church must be more relevant and central to the life of the local community. It must reach out to everyone who lives or works in the expanded Parish to those of faith and those of no faith providing opportunities to learn or learn more about the Christian faith
In addition to the central roles of enabling worship and providing pastoral support the new church must become part of the social fabric of the community. Whilst ensuring that we continue to support the needs of all of our existing user groups we must also build upon the range of social events promoted by the Church such as coffee mornings, lunches, fashion shows, organ recitals and choral concerts.
In reviewing its assets the new Church must look to creating modern welcoming social facilities that cater for the disabled and would encourage wider community use of the Church and create new avenues for spreading the Christian message
The new Church must embrace modern technology and communicate with the wider community on a regular basis to let the Community know what the Church is doing.
Enabling people to worship together
One of the key roles of the new church will be to enable as many people as possible to worship God together. To achieve this and make it an effective communal act it will be necessary to promote and develop a genuine sense of fellowship amongst all members of the new congregation. The new Church will need to adopt new forms of worship that meet the very different needs of the congregation especially the younger and older members. There will need to be a fresh look at the number and timing of services, the format of services and the style of music and hymns to be used.
The new Church will require to provide services and support for the housebound and those who live in care homes within the Parish There will also be a requirement to provide school chaplaincy services, This wide range of needs will require the new Church to develop worship teams to provide support to the Minister and lead some of the services
Providing pastoral support
The new Church must be seen to be responding to human need by loving service. The Minister alone will be unable to meet the pastoral needs of the enlarged Parish. The new Kirk Session will need to ensure that not only has the Church the capacity to provide pastoral support for its members but also the capacity to meet needs that are identified within the Parish. This will require the new Church to provide salaried and voluntary support for the management of the Church and its organisations and business, including, for example, a Church Officer, a Church Manager and/or a Church Secretary.
Supporting the Youth organisations
The new church will provide the Christian leadership for all of our youth organisations to encourage and promote their development. It will also ensure there is appropriate accommodation available for their current needs and consider piloting projects such as after-school club for under 16s
Linking with the wider church
The new Church will develop an increased awareness of the work of the Church of Scotland playing a part in promoting and participating in its projects and activities. The new Church will also continue to develop its existing links with the three churches in Kenya, Pakistan and Zimbabwe.
Realising the vision
The vision will only be realised by the collective efforts of the Minister and the whole congregation of the new Church working together. It will not be an easy task and there will be many hurdles to overcome. We are committed to the creation of a new church in the West End of Greenock and by the Grace of God we will work to realise this vision.