In Search of a New Style of Church
(an invitation to our local community)
written by Rev Gary Heard

How does one develop an authentic spirituality in an era so packed with changes and uncertainty? How is it possible to make sense of our humanity and understand our place in time and in the world when so much appears transitional? Can the church engage in such a search without resorting to pat answers and simple formulae?

We at West Melbourne Baptist Church are a people on a journey in which we seek to find shape and meaning for our spirituality without being limited by our understanding of what church might be. We are endeavouring to take a fresh look at ourselves, the christian faith, and the broader spiritual traditions (particularly the life and teachings of Jesus) so that we might ground our faith in the realities of modern life.

Spirituality by conversation
Rather than relying on a preacher to tell us what we need to hear, we enter into conversation together, seeking to discern the voice of God amongst us. We listen to Scripture, raise our questions, share our observations, and engage with the struggles it reveals for us. We are free to voice our questions, raise our objections, and grapple with a diversity of perspectives without forcing agreement.

Spirituality through questioning
We grapple with questions of life without having to produce definitive answers. Through confronting these questions, we find ourselves also confronted so that we might learn to be more consistent

Spirituality by engagement
Each week we take time to reflect upon whatever world events, local news, issues in the workplace or daily life have made an impact upon us, so that we might shape our faith journeys as citizens of a global and local community.

Spirituality in community
We aim to take this journey together, helping each other to become fully human. We celebrate diversity, realising that the pathway of truth and authenticity is found in listening to the many voices and cherishing their perspectives.

In many senses we have left the pathways of a traditional church to explore the ground of faith and spirituality in new ways: drawing on the traditions of the past as we face the challenges of contemporary life.

We would love to invite you to share this journey with us. We know that we will be enriched by all who join with us.

- the people who are West Melbourne Baptist Church -

October 20, 2002
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