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Encouragement for the Journey 24 November 2013

Encouragement for the Journey

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Greetings fellow traveller,

This Sunday is the last Sunday of the liturgical year, before we journey through Advent. Traditionally it is a celebration of Christ the King. How we live in the Kingdom of God is very important. Oscar A. Romero, Archbishop of San Salvador, in El Salvador, was assassinated on March 24, 1980, while celebrating Mass in a small chapel in a cancer hospital where he lived. He was known for being a voice for the poor, the dispossessed and the voiceless ones. The words of this prayer are often attributed to Oscar Romero, but they were never actually spoken by him. They were written by Bishop Untener as a reflection on the anniversary of the martyrdom of Bishop Romero. It describes life in the Kingdom of God in a very powerful way:

A Future Not Our Own

 It helps now and then to step back and take a long view.

The Kingdom is not only beyond our efforts, it is beyond our vision.

We accomplish in our lifetime only a fraction of the magnificent enterprise that is God’s work.

Nothing we do is complete, which is another way of

saying that the kingdom always lies beyond us.

No statement says all that could be said.

No prayer fully expresses our faith. No confession

brings perfection, no pastoral visit brings wholeness.

No program accomplishes the Church’s mission.

No set of goals and objectives include everything.

This is what we are about. We plant the seeds that one

day will grow. We water the seeds already planted

knowing that they hold future promise.

We lay foundations that will need further development.

We provide yeast that produces effects far beyond our capabilities.

We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of

liberation in realising this.

This enables us to do something, and to do it very well.

It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way, an opportunity for the Lord’s grace to enter and do the rest.

We may never see the end results, but that is the

difference between the master builder and the worker.

We are workers, not master builders, ministers, not

messiahs. We are prophets of a future not our own.

Meanwhile Peace on your journey in the Kingdom

Alf

 

November 29, 2013 in Ministry Team's Blog by

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Encouagement for the Journey 17 November 2013

Encouragement for the Journey

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Greetings Fellow Traveller, 

Today is our 125th birthday, a time to honour the past, celebrate the present and become hopeful of the future. I have had the privilege of being involved in a number of Church Anniversary celebrations. Naturally each was different, but all embodied the themes of remembrance, celebration and hope.

When St Aidans was formed in 1888, NZ Society was vastly different than today, time and space forbid a detailed comparison. One significant difference was that Churches were an integral and essential part of the community. When the early settlers, commenced their colonization of NZ and learned to live and work alongside Maori, some of the first buildings to be built after houses, was a church building, a school and of course a hotel. The local church played an integral part in both rural and urban communal life.

For those of us within communities of faith, we now find the church on the periphery, on the edge of society. The church is generally perceived as totally, irrelevant, legalistic, and judgmental along with being an ancient anachronism no longer needed in a modern society. Once we appreciate and understand this, we can commence what I term ‘bridge building’ across the gap that exists between the church and the wider community. This is what we have sought to do here at St Aidans with our Drop Inn, Roast Meet, Friday Fun Nights, Being Teacher Helpers at Northcote Primary and ARK@S, our Kids N All and Café Services are all attempts to offer alternate ministries which demonstrate community in action. There are no limits to what kinds of Bridges we may build linking communities together.

Across these bridges we meet each other, human travellers seeking meaning in the midst of our lives. Along the way we offer the unconditional love and grace of the gospel of Jesus, not just in word, but allowing our actions to speak louder than words.

In our celebrations today:

May you enjoy an awaking of memories, of the people and activities of yesterday, take delight in the energy and love of the present moment, and be touched with hope, for the unknown future always beckons ……

Meanwhile Peace

Alf

 

November 29, 2013 in Ministry Team's Blog by

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Encouragement for the Journey 3 November 2013

 

ENCOURAGEMENT FOR THE JOURNEY

 

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Greetings Fellow Traveller,

The theme for our KIDS N ALL gathering today is:

 ROLE MODELS

This theme was suggested by one of our young people. I think this is a great one for us to celebrate. Role Models have a significant place within the biblical narratives. Indeed, Jesus is our role model, first to the disciples who watched, listened, and were taught by him. He modeled what life is like in the Kingdom of God. He comes to us, as of old, his life and teachings still reverberate down through the centuries offering wisdom and encouragement to us on our faith journey.

Role models can be the most unlikely people, not just famous sports stars or celebrities. They can be parents, grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, teachers along with coaches, and youth leaders.

Role models offer both a negative and positive influence. Sometimes a person is not always aware they are a role model, being quite surprised when this is suggested. While others endeavor to live in such a way that they live and act responsibly, because they know that others especially young people look to them as a role model and will seek to emulate them in both dress and actions.

There is an assumption present, that it is just the young who need role models, while adults have somehow arrived at some mythical place of emotional and psychological maturity. Not so. On our journey through life, we all need role models, people we can look to, who have been there done that and come out the other side. Perhaps they have gone through or going through a period of sickness, grief, a difficult time in their lives, their presence and attitude encourages us in amazing ways.

Take a moment to reflect on your life and those role models who have come into your life at the most opportune time. Offer a prayer of thankfulness for them and their presence in your life. Here are few quotes on being a role model:

“My dad was my best friend and greatest role model. He was an amazing dad, coach, mentor, soldier, husband and friend”. Tiger Woods

“I do not feel that we should set up people as “models”; rather actions, thoughts, principles.” Noam Chomsky

Meanwhile Peace in letting our lives speak

Alf

 

 

November 29, 2013 in Ministry Team's Blog by

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