Greetings Fellow Traveller,
Today is a very special day, as we celebrate the 80th anniversary of the laying of the foundation stone of our present building in 1931. It is an understatement to say, that New Zealand society was very different then, from today. However, in one area, it is the same, namely the Church is people, always people. A Maori proverb sums this up so beautifully, te tangata, te tangata, te tangata, it is people, it is people it is people. So to people let us turn.
This week I came across this verse from the poem Night Duty by Tomas Transtromer (Swedish Poet who received the Nobel Prize for Literature 2011):
Tonight I am down among the ballast.
I am one of the silent weights
Which prevent the vessel overturning
Obscure faces in the darkness like stone
Reading those words, I thought how many people have contributed to ensuring the vessel named St Aidans has remained a float. Even though at times, it was buffeted by storms, the possibility of being blown off course ever present, with the anxiety and fear of overturning, yet, through the presence of human ballast, namely people, the wisdom and peace of God came. A new course was plotted and sails re – set to catch the prevailing wind of the Spirit.
Now, at this moment in time, we can feel the winds of change blowing. You and I, we people, human ballast, are still required; indeed more so, as St Aidans sails into uncharted waters of an unknown future. This brings predicable and unpredictable challenges, each offering us opportunities to respond as people of God, empowered by the presence of the Spiritís breath.
It is my belief and philosophy of ministry, that we can respond in creative ways to meet this beckoning unknown horizon. Together, we can discover new forms of Church life and mission in our ever changing world. With the empowering of the creative Spirit of Christ, we may serve one another, to serve our community, seeking to make a difference, starting with our selves.
May the photographs shown on the screen warm your heart and trigger memories of people who have journeyed with you for awhile at St Aidans. May you enjoy gathering together today, renewing old friendships, making new ones, sharing stories and memories, to encourage each other on our journey of life and faith.