COTAs Freemont Abbey – a personal inspiration & yet reminder of my own failure & a hope for the year ahead. A request for prayer and endurance!!
If you did not already know, our sister church in the States, COTA are really one of the most exciting emerging church projects in the world. They are now incarnating their dream of creating an urban church/art centre in Fremont, art area of Seattle. If you remember, Gareth, Si and I went their earlier this year, which was a needed boost to me personally and hopefully Moots own dreams. What inspires me about this group in particular, is how their dreams incarnate. I have never met a group that are so ambitious and faithful at the same time. It is not an easy ride, but there is something in the process they work to – not letting go of their dreams and making them work that is inspirational – their dreams which seem to me to be God-given do become real. They doggedly never give up on what they think God is calling them to. It does remind me often about how trapped I feel with the very large brick walls around us in moot, and that I personally don’t seem to be able to influence the wider church as much as Karen does, to be able to take risks and opportunities, and often feel a bit of a failure – as perceivably very little has changed in moot in the last year! I am still on the edge of insolvency, we still are [at our core] a very small group, and feel very burdened by the financial debt I now carry as a result of not working fulltime over the last year.
However, I still have hope in Moot, and as Gary constantly says – Moot is pregnant with possibilities, they are just not realised. I have not let go of what an incredible group of people you are, it continues to move me when I see moments of real connection with God and transformative fragments of hope that occur in the events and services we have done in the last year.
There are however some real opportunities in front of us. Firstly there is a fund we can apply for [with no guarantees] to gather some money so at least I may get paid for the part time stuff I do, and even possibly to work full time. There is a moot ‘cafe church’ development group which needs to focus on the task in hand, and we have a very close ally in Peter Hanaway who chairs the group. We have a meeting with the Archdeacon of Charing Cross who needs to understand Moot and why we do what we do. The Bishop is now quite friendly to us as a community, due to your extremely wonderful support at the meeting with the Bishop in the summer. So we do have some opportunities which if we get behind them, we can in faith believe that God will provide. I suppose what I am asking for more than ever, is for your ongoing support and time in building up the very fragile community we have created, which is beautiful yet vulnerable.
Considerations for prayer
1. For me personally, that the application to the Mission Fund (DOL) will be successful once Gareth & I with the support of Peter have written it after Greenbelt, and that I will find the time in a very hectic life to get it done. I am really particularly burdened by the need to pay back money where I have no ability to pay it, even after renting out my flat and moving, frustratingly due to circumstances outside my control that often feel a bit of a curse.
2. For moot – that we manage to make an ambitious new service plan work – so that it can help people find more of a regularity of worship at Moot, and that our small community can grow to enable it to become a deeper and healthy community, so that we can take more risks as we seek to follow God.
3. For Moot’s development – that we develop better relationships with the Archdeacon and Bishop and all those we are accountable to as a community. That they may see the potential in Moot not as a threat but as an opportunity.
4. For Moot’s cafe church vision – that we will first have the right people to shape this up to meet God’s vision for us – that it will be highly practical regarding finances, and highly efficient and correct concerning good buisness planning and that it will be highly creative in terms of what we would like to go on there. That it would truly be a vehicle for us to be a church mission, worship & community.
It would really excite me if we could all regularly pray for these things, knowing that where we want to go to is a very uphill journey.