God as Trinity
It is important that the Church should reflect the nature of the God in whom it believes.
To that end, the features of a God who is experienced in three different persons, Father, Son and Spirit, and the nature of their relationship one with another, should be visible in the manner in which the church is formed and arranged.
Rubelev's Icon offers a helpful picture.
The three figures are inclined to each other, at ease with each other.
They show deference to each other. There is no evidence of a hierarchy or of power located with any one.
No one part, Creator, Son or Spirit alone, can represent God. Always three, never two or one, and consequently they work by consensus not opposition, without dualism, never adversarial. Only the totality of the life of the three in community reveals the nature of God.
The table is six sided, only three are occupied. There is space at the table for others.
A cup is within reach of anyone and there is space for an incomer's offering.
What might it mean for a Small Christian Community (SCC), or any other representation of church, to reflect the God who is modelled in a community of three mutually inter-dependent persons.
The quality and depth of our relationships, one with another, in SCCs and in churches is crucial and will reveal to the world the nature of the God in whom we profess to believe.
The space we leave for others to join in and to bring their contribution, too, is a vital sign. There must be space for others to enter the communities of church, to meet acceptance and for their gifts to be embraced.
There is no place for power located in any one person or group; equality, deference, interdependence are radical signs of God.
Hierarchy by virtue of qualification, or role in the organisational structure, too, is out.
Sharing and consensus will mark our way of working and adversarial patterns of opposition and division will be conspicuous by their absence.