“There is a day when the road neither comes nor goes,
and the way is not a way but a place.”
– Wendell Berry
Sometimes, all that’s needed is space.
In the midst of our full and rushing lives, it can be difficult to cultivate a sense of space. We don’t give ourselves time to sit, to be still, and simply be. We fill our time and end up feeling cramped.
You might call it an open house – a place of welcome and refreshment. The church will be lit with candles, the atmosphere contemplative. There will be a time of reflection, gentle music and, throughout the sanctuary, places of activity – pictures to consider, Scripture, prayers and poems to read, something to feel with your hands, art supplies to focus your creativity. People come and go as they like, joining in songs and quiet conversations or sitting in silence and enjoying the space.
Each month, volunteers offer a theme which creates a framework for the evening. Often, these themes are grounded in everyday realities – Light, Turning, Closing, Water. The evening begins with a prayerful group reflection, thoughts from Scripture, and songs from the Taize and Iona Communities, inviting us each to explore the spiritual theme in the way that is personal.
Nitekirk offers something new. Usually, our experience of worship is quite structured, whether our church follows a set liturgy or a looser order of service. Nitekirk is different. Here, we are invited into an atmosphere of worship, but not instructed how we should respond. Instead, we trust that God is present among us and within us all. God will meet us – we simply accept the invitation and inhabit the space. This is a midwifery approach to the gospel.
We are invited to trust and know that our spirits are built for creative relationship with each other, with the world, and with God. Given space, worship and mission will emerge among us. We will find guidance, encouragement and strength for our journeys.
Nitekirk offers an invitation to all. For those who have drifted away from conventional congregations, it is a new form of church. For those for whom church has never been a part of their life, it is an open door. For those seeking a creative exploration of their faith, it is a workshop. For those busy with the life of a church, it is a call to rest and reflection. And for everyone, it is a space to ‘be’.
This article was originally published on the Go For It fund blog on January 20, 2014
Nitekirk receives funding from the Grassmarket Mission