The leaders of this Area’s FIEC Churches met last night for fellowship and discussion. Here is a short report:
The main issue raised was the suggestion that some Churches with greater resources be nominated as Hubs to which others in the Area could turn for support. In a sense, a soft episcopalianism.
The meeting however, seemed to agree that ‘hard wiring’, or institutionalising some Churches as hubs would be the wrong approach, and contrary to our identity in independancy. That said, we needed to recognise that mutual responsibility was something already ‘soft wired’ or organic to our experience as Churches. Numerous examples were cited where within our number, mutual support was been sought and offered without having any formal arrangement in place but rather as the needs arise and the situations emerge. I am sure that more of this, especially where it is strategic support and resource pooling can only be a good thing.
We suggested that an FIEC paper on what it means to be an FIEC Church, in terms of the responsibilities we have to each other would be a helpful way to stimulate greater inter-dependence for those for whom this was was not second nature, and to encourage those who had lapsed in this area etc.
There is after all, only one Church, and we need to recognise that by the way we demonstrate openness to the various congregations both in FIEC and beyond in wider evangelicalism.