First up today, this really made me laugh… a mini romantic tragedy played out in banner form above the dual carriageway between Ikea and Belfast… poor Robert!
Speaking of Ikea, while I was munching my lunch there today (the World Cup Special, spicy meatballs for £1.75, yum!) I couldn’t help overhearing the conversation between two “ladies of a certain age” at the next table. The words “Titanic”, “minister” and “church” caught my attention, and when I concentrated and started eavesdropping properly, sure enough they were talking about The Dock!
It seems that someone in their church has been spreading the word – and while some of the details were a bit skew-whiff, they got the gist! “He doesn’t even have a church!”, one of them said to the other, “He just meets people in his cafe – I think it’s called Titanic Dock Cafe!” “Isn’t he doing some big jump this Saturday?” “No, that’s already happened,” said the first lady confidently. And then the most interesting comment of all – “Of course I don’t really go to church,” said the lady who seemed to know all the facts!
I don’t know who first came up with the phrase “gossiping the Gospel”, but this seems to me to be a great example. It didn’t even bother me that they got some of the facts wrong! – at least they were interested. In the end I was a big girl’s blouse and left the cafe without introducing myself to them – I think if they realised I’d been listening to their conversation, they would’ve been mortified! (also, remaining anonymous was a sneaky way to get some unbiased feedback!)
Last week I posted a video describing the different teams which are emerging as part of The Dock (if you missed it, check out http://www.thedockchurch.org/blog/?p=763) and one of them is a team of “church ambassadors”, responsible for gossiping The Dock (which is – hopefully! – gossiping the Gospel – good news) in churches, cafes, shops, gyms, at school gates… Obviously someone is already a Dock Ambassador without realising it! – so Thankyou, whoever you are! – but there’s room for plenty more. Get in touch if it’s something you’d like to be a part of.
Tomorrow I get the chance to share the vision for The Dock to a roomful of fellow clergy and church representatives at Diocesan Synod. But in some ways I’m just as excited that (a slightly garbled version of) the vision was being shared over a coffee in the Ikea cafe today…