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Ocean Church

Recently, on Maudy Thursday, we became a Baptist church. Which is kinda funny to me. In my

head, we had been a church for a long time. Being recognised as a formal entity feels like new

and interesting territory. Something to live up to and build with care. Perhaps something that will

stand the test of time too?

We mentioned it on the beach on Easter Saturday when we talked about lamb and the

Passover (before eating it). There wasn't a big cheer or groan. Just nods of acceptance. I

wondered then how people felt. Did they already feel like a church? Had I mentioned it too much

in the past and now they were bored? Perhaps they already thought of themselves as church?

 

I think they did. For the last few years we have grown deeper as a group and have got slightly

clearer about the stuff we care about. We have had people ask to be baptised. We have also

had people begin to call Ocean Church “their church”. I feel a slight increase in gravitas and

responsibility. No longer for a rag tag idea, but now we have a core team of trustees, a wider

leadership team and a rhythm to the way we meet and try to live.

People are committed to the idea that church isn't a building or even a meeting, it is a shared

way of life. So together we have come up with a set of habits which guide us towards following

Jesus outdoors together in the everyday. We are trying to build each other up in this but as you

might know, habits slip easily.

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It has been amazing to me to see God at work in people in a different way outdoors from

indoors. The way people look out over the harbour at sunset. The way everyone feels the chill in

the breeze. The excitement about being on a paddleboard for the first time. One of the things

we are loving is being able to build new ways of worshipping, telling the Jesus’ story and

sharing the sacraments together.

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Yesterday, another church minister came over for a cuppa. He said his flat looks over the part ofthe park where we meet. He saw us for the first time he said “that looks like a church group”. I’mnot sure what to make of that. But one way or another, i’m pleased to be part of God’s liquid kingdom in the great outdoors.

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