Café now open
Café Church. What does that conjure up in your mind? How about this?
Small tables covered in checked gingham cloths, chairs arranged around them. Pots of tea and coffee, appetising cakes and biscuits. Friendly people. Invitations to “come and sit here”. Offers to get you a refill. Recommendations – “you should try this sponge – it’s delicious!”
Singing, praying, a scripture reading, a story, a meditation, slides, a film show. Something to think about. Time to chat, and and even to discuss in a more serious way. Perhaps to listen to someone else’s news, without interrupting. Doing your bit to transform a fairly ordinary hall into “church”. A safe place. A holy place.
St Andrew’s Café Church is all of the above.
What’s also worth mentioning is that it happens entirely without the help of an ordained minister: it’s run by the Stewardship Team, a small group of elders and members, including the organist (who participates in leading worship as well as playing the piano). And in case you are wondering, this Team are also responsible for taking the lead in stewardship and are currently putting the finishing touches to the programme for the Season of Time which will be launched at the 10.00 am service on 4th August.
Café Church happens every six weeks or so, on different days of the week and at different times so as to enable a wide variety of people to come along. The most recent one took place on the evening of Monday 22nd July, with the theme of the 50th anniversary of the moon landing and, after the welcome and opening prayer, we watched a film of that now historic event. We heard from one person about what she remembered doing on that day, which included watching it on a fuzzy black and white television, while someone else taking part confessed that it was before she was born.
Psalm 8 provided an inspiring example of God’s majesty, reinforced by our singing of “How great thou art”. Echoing that famous quote, “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”, the talk was entitled “One small step”. This began with a number of people coming forward and laying a pair of shoes or boots on the table, and then the speaker brought us highlights from two inspirational people she had recently heard/talked to.
The latter was Rev. Dr Martin Johnstone, Secretary of the Church and Society Council, who recently visited our two congregations and parishes plus the V&A. This came about through a tweet – it’s a long story – but anyway, Martin came to Dundee and met with a group of people from the two congregations and heard about what’s going on with us. In return he brought his particular insights into the various radical action plans which were passed by the General Assembly. It was an enjoyable and fruitful day and not without laughter, perhaps especially when Martin attempted to play the bells at St Andrew’s. They had been rung by one of our Seekers earlier – to welcome him to the church, following his visit to Meadowside St Paul’s.