Is there a church that doesn’t ask you to believe the unbelievable?
Well, there are a lot of people who would like to have a community that could be a ‘spiritual home’, but they think they have to subscribe to a set of beliefs to belong to a church. And they can’t quite bring themselves to believe all those things! They would feel like a fraud, not quite meeting the ‘membership’ requirements.
That’s true of some churches but not Winfield United. We are a community of seekers whose beliefs and understandings are constantly evolving. We think it’s more important to live the questions together than to have once-and-for-all answers.
We see no contradiction, for example, between science and religion. We don’t believe the world was literally created in six days. We do believe that evolution is a primary mechanism by which divine creative power is expressed. It is misguided to treat the Bible like a science textbook.
Jesus never said that we had to believe a certain set of propositions in order to be a part of God’s realm or kin-dom. Rather he invited and challenged people into a new way of seeing and a new way of living in harmony with God. It was a spiritual path, not a set of correct beliefs.
Are there some beliefs that are central to us?
Yes we are a Christian church so the one thing we have in common is a belief that the great spiritual teacher we know as Jesus, embodied in some mysterious way the nature of the divine presence. He was particularly intimate with God. So Jesus is central, though we may understand him differently, and our goal is to understand his teachings and to follow him.
So if you’re looking for a community where you can ask any question; where you can bring your doubts as well as your beliefs, and where you can explore all those things with others without judgement, maybe Winfield United is for you...
Is there a church that offers a ‘guide on the side’ rather than a ‘sage on the stage’?
Lots of people today are looking not for a ‘sage on the stage’ who dispenses wisdom to the masses, but for a ‘guide on the side’; someone to accompany them on their personal, spiritual journey, someone to help point the way but not do their thinking for them. That’s the kind of leadership we believe in too!
If you are on a spiritual quest or journey, or would like to grow your spiritual life, Winfield United might be the place for you to find you ‘guide on the side’.
Is there a church that nourishes the spirituality children already have?
Many parents, and grandparents, today would like their children to receive some kind of instruction or initiation into what might loosely be termed ‘Christian values’; but they are concerned that their children not be indoctrinated, or worse, be made to fear going to hell if they don’t believe certain things!
Winfield United shares those concerns, and over the years we have developed an approach to ministry with children that is radically respectful of the spiritual sense that children already have within them.
In some ways children are already in touch with the wholeness of life that mature spiritual seekers are looking for. Children feel and see the divine nature in the world around them.
So our task is not to make them into ‘spiritual beings’; rather it is to help what is already there to mature and develop. We do that the way it has been done through the ages – through stories. Children experience the stories of the Bible, and modern ones too, through storytelling, drama, art and music. And we don’t ever try to ram the ‘point’ of any story home, but encourage the children to think for themselves and to share their insights with each other.
Children love to come and they develop real love for the leaders who walk with them.
So if this fits with your expectations or needs for a child honouring community then Winfield United might be the place for you!