Inclusive Church

Inclusive Church Peterborough meets on Sunday Evenings 7pm to 9pm

We are a bold, truly inclusive new church in Peterborough that is relevant to real-world questions and real-life decisions. Join us now to help it grow.

Who we are
Jesus Christ showed us that God’s love has no limits, and so we believe that the Church’s embrace should be wide and generous.
All people are welcome here and encouraged to play their part fully, regardless of gender or gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnic origin, disability, mental or physical health, or social background.
We welcome people of all faiths, and none, and hope that you may find here a place of rest, prayer and reflection, of challenge and celebration.

What we do

ICP invites you to come as you are – you don’t have to pretend to be more, or less than yourself here.
We aim to encourage and provide opportunities for all people to deepen and grow their personal relationship with God on their individual journey.
We are each unique and we all belong.
On Sundays evening’s we come together to receive Holy Communion, to be challenged and encouraged by God’s word and to receive strength and support from God and from one another. We don’t all believe exactly the same things. And yet in the midst of our diversity, we build community, grounded in God’s radically inclusive love for all people. We can’t have all the answers ourselves, but ICP is a good place to share the questioning together, to search for deeper insights, and to celebrate our common journey.

Serving
During the evening there will be opportunities to take part or serve by doing a bible reading or prayer or helping serve communion.  If you want to help in practical ways, get here by 6:00 and help put out the chairs, or stay a bit later and help put them away.  You could volunteer to help set out the  Teas and Coffees.

Bible Readings
We will be using bible sheets with passages from the Revised Common Lectionary principal service to help us to read through the bible.
The sheets give us the First Reading from the Old Testament, a Psalm, and the Second Reading from the New Testament.  There is also a reading from one of the 4 Gospels, Matthew Mark Luke or John, where most of the stories of Jesus can be found.  Each week we will read some of these Bible readings in Church.  Anyone who wants to serve us and read is welcome.  We won’t do all 4 readings each week, maybe only 2 or 3 if they are shorter reading.
If you want to go deeper – Take these sheets home with you and read the passages we didn’t read out.  During the week, we can chat about what the passages say in the Facebook closed group.  We also have a Bible Study on a Thursday Night were we can talk through the readings.
The bible version we use is the New Revised Standard Version which has has the widest acclaim and broadest support from academics and church leaders.  It is “as literal as possible” in adhering to the texts and “as free as necessary” to make the meaning clear.  It draws on newly available sources that increase our understanding, these sources include the Dead Sea Scrolls, and other archaeological finds that help us understand Greek and Hebrew grammar.  The NRSV also makes it clear where the original texts intend to include all humans, and where they intend to refer to only one gender. Previous translations used the word ‘man’ to refer to both mankind and the male gender which made the text feel exclusive.

Finances/Tithing/Offerings
We do not take a collection but there is a bowl available near the door if  you want to make an offering to help pay some of the Churches expenses.  We have no paid staff so expenses are just the rent, insurance and printing costs of approximately £40 a week.  There is also a bowl near the teas and coffees if you want to drop some change to help us buy more coffee and biscuits, or bring along a packet of biscuits/tea bags when we are getting low.  When we get to the point where our expenses are met we will start looking for projects we can work together to support in prayer and finances.

Communion
In different denominations, this is known as holy communion, mass, Eucharist (meaning thanksgiving), the breaking of bread, or the Lord’s supper or just Bread and Wine.    Bread is broken and distributed, and wine is poured out and shared.
Different denominations have different traditions and rules, but bread and wine remain the most compelling reminders of the love of God.
Some churches have ‘closed’ communion where only people deemed ‘worthy’ can participate – worthiness can be shown by going through a membership service or confirmation before you take your first communion, other denominations don’t have confirmation and communion is open.
Here communion is open – everyone can join in.   We are using small individual communion wafers and the wine is non-alcoholic so everyone, including children and people who don’t drink alcohol can join in freely.
A principal we use here is from Romans 14. Don’t argue over the little things – everyone decides in their heart what is their way to worship God and we accept each other without judgement. Some people will take a big swig of wine hoping to receive a big blessing, others will take a delicate polite little sip, other’s will dunk the bread in the cup, others will pass it by preferring a priest to offer the sacraments. Some people stand, some people prefer to kneel.  There is no single correct way to connect with God we will each find a path that is comfortable and works for us whether from our traditional experiences of church or from watching and following what other’s do.
Taking communion can have the following symbolic meaning to people: 1. Being united with each other as one body  – we are family.  2. Remembering Jesus’s life, death and resurrection and promised return. 3. An opportunity to say thank. 4. A way of accepting God’s forgiveness and acknowledging that He loves us.

What we believe

We believe that all people are created in the image of God, and that all are called by God into a loving, dynamic relationship with him, through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, his Son and through the power of the Holy Spirit.
We believe that human sexuality, sexual orientation and gender identity in all their richness are gifts of God gladly to be accepted, enjoyed and honoured as a way of both expressing and growing in love, in accordance with the life and teaching of Jesus Christ. Therefore, it is our conviction that it is entirely compatible with the Christian faith not only to love another person regardless of sex, gender or orientation, but also to express that love fully in a personal sexual relationship;

We believe that expressing our gender and sexuality with integrity is important as a way to grow in love and discipleship; we long for the day when Christians fully accept, welcome, affirm and offer equality to everyone in their diversity.
We agree with the beautiful Christians United Statement on LGBT Inclusion.
http://www.christiansunitedstatement.org

We meet at St Mary’s Church Community Hall, New Rd, Peterborough PE1 1TT  (near Wellington St car park)

 

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