What does it mean to belong to Trinity Church Brighton? That’s the question a whole bunch of our newest members have been thinking about over a meal this week, along with a few of our longer-term members who catered and welcomed our newcomers. We had lunch after church on Sunday attended by a little over 30, and dinner on Thursday with a few more than 20. There was a great buzz of conversation in the room with people getting to know each other and it was lovely to reflect on the various ways that God had brought us together through such varied paths from all kinds of different backgrounds. I thought it’d be helpful to share some of what we talked about in response to that question: what does it mean to belong to Trinity Church Brighton?
We began by reflecting on the God who brings us together – because first and foremost we belong to him. He is a God who is rich in mercy, as Ephesians 2:4 so clearly sums up. We’re all in the same boat – dependent on his grace, looking up to Jesus rather than down at each other, delighting to serve him together in response to his grace, and longing for others to know him too. And he is a God who speaks through his word, the Bible, as Isaiah 55:10-11 and Hebrews 4:12-13 make clear. So, we’re confident that we’ll grow as we spend time in his word, and we want to listen to all of God’s word (not just the easy bits) and apply it to all of our lives (including the uncomfortable bits).
The other way we thought about belonging to Trinity Church Brighton is to think of it as belonging to God’s family on mission together. God gives us the immense privilege of counting Jesus as our older brother (Romans 8:29) and we want to share Jesus’ compassion for the crowds (Matthew 9:35-38) and obey his commission to share the gospel with them (Matthew 28:16-20). While we might be tempted to think of church as a cruise ship, on which we kick back and enjoy the entertainment while choosing to the deck chair next to the fun people we like to chat with, we were inspired to think of church as a life boat, in which we’ve found new life and then are given the privilege of holding out that life to the world around us who are still floundering in a stormy sea.
It’s a pretty inspiring image to motivate us to consider how we can each pitch in, playing our part in various ways to see our church family thrive and grow up and reach out. That’s really what our mid-year serving survey is about, and if you’ve not yet filled it in, please take a few minutes to fill it out online here.
It’s been such an encouraging week hearing from some of our newest members how delighted they are to be a part of this family, keen to humbly listen to God’s voice in the Bible, inspired to be on mission together, and thankful to have been showered with grace by our father who is rich in mercy. I wonder whether you might like to pause and reflect on what it means to you to be a member of Trinity Church Brighton, and give God thanks for the many blessings he has given you, too.
Your brother in Christ and partner in God’s great mission,