I described a good church, or a church that would be attractive to me, as one that believes and proclaims that God is the Creator and Saviour of the world, and that is preparing believers to be co-rulers with Christ in the Kingdom of God.
That shouldn't have been too big an ask, but it was beginning to look an impossible task until very recently.
I'm not saying too much just yet, but ..... we may be on the verge of finding a church home within mainstream christianity.
No names, no commitment, no final decisions just yet.
But in the last two weeks we have uncovered a distinct possibility.
Here is a one-liner from the service last Sunday.
"See how God loves us!
God loves us enough to swallow up death forever."
Here is another from the Communion service.
"We have come to share in Jesus' kingdom meal.
We eat and drink in anticipation of that great day when we with all people will eat and drink in the Kingdom of God."
And one of the main Bible readings for the day was Isaiah 25 : 6 - 9, one of my favourites.
On this mountain the Lord Almighty will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples, a banquet of aged wine - the best of meats and the finest of wines.
On this mountain he will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations; he will swallow up death forever.
The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove his people's disgrace from all the earth. The Lord has spoken.
In that day they will say, "Surely this is our God; we trusted in him, and he saved us.
This is the Lord, we trusted in him; let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation."
I haven't talked to anyone at the church about this yet, but it certainly shows some promise, doesn't it?
I have also attended one of its weekly Bible studies, which was not deep, but very enjoyable.
Here's the Golden Rule for the group.
"Agree if possible, disagree in an atmosphere of respect for the other person, and always listen carefully and thoughtfully to your fellow Bible student."
Wow, what a difference in tone from my other church experiences since retirement, where I've been told not to express any views that differed from the church's published views as that would cause confusion and division, and would undermine the leadership.
(Undermining the Bible didn't seem to cause the same sort of problem.)
Anyway, there's a ray of hope in this town that we'll continue to explore. I am beginning to look forward to "going to church" again.
Keep you posted.