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Encouragement for the Journey 30 August 2015

Encouragement for the Journey


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Greetings fellow travellers!

In the days just prior to this service I was in exam week. It was stressful at times: trying to remember the correct structure for answering the questions, scribbling away to the last minute on the ever-ticking clock, wondering if you missed something when the test seems too easy. On top of all that is the pressure that your future is irrevocably dependent on it.

At times like these, when everyone seems to demand everything of you, it’s important to take a deep breath and take a calm step back to look at what truly matters. Life has likely changed a lot since the last time you had taken a school exam, but I hope to share a few thoughts that can be applied to your set of circumstances.

Our moments on this earth are best spent in happiness, our own and that of our neighbours, rather than in a state of agitation from the stresses of the daily grind. Sometimes all it takes to feel better is to choose to be happy.

Our mistakes do not have to be shameful failures. They are opportunities to grow and learn how to do things differently the next time. There is always more than one way to go about achieving a goal, and if it was not a success with the first that should not mean we dismiss all other pathways.

Be patient and be calm, for many of the problems of today, with the steady flow of time and effort, will become the problems of yesterday. Remember your friends, family and community because they will last a lifetime. These people will support you on your journey’s hardships, easily solved or permanent.

May we find the strength to help those around us, and may we pray for those who are beyond our reach.

And to you, I wish you many blessings and joyful discoveries as a fellow traveller on the spiritual journey of life.

Until next time,

Barbora

August 31, 2015 in Ministry Team's Blog by

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Encouragement for the Journey 23 August 2015

Encouragement for the Journey.

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Greetings fellow travellers!

This week it is a joy to bring three of the four wonderful women to be ordained as elders, and to welcome them into the team of elders who guide and care for the community at St. Aidan’s.

The Presbyterian system of church governance is unusual in that it gives the elders of the congregation the responsibility for the guidance, both spiritual and practical, of the community.

The role of the minister is, in essence, not to lead the church but to guide and encourage the church as together we engage in prayer and worship, conversation and contemplation of scripture.

Ideally, this is a teaching and learning relationship where elders and minister are open to learn from each other; where there is mutual respect and appreciation for gifts and skills and understanding and compassion for flaws or failings.

According to our system, the minister has a role as teaching elder, but while we might look more democratic than some of our protestant cousins, there is often a hidden hierarchy at play.

Sadly it is not unusual for congregation and minister to battle for power and control of the shape and flavour of worship or teaching or mission focus.

As we at St. Aidan’s ordain new elders, and at the same time are conscious of the impending search for a new minister, it seems a good time to reflect upon the role and responsibility of each member for the life of the community.

We are better together than we are divided. We need one another to keep a balance in our communal life.

Whenever one of us is overworking it must then follow that another is either being deprived of or has deferred their share. The body only works well when all the parts work together.

If all of that sounds like a lot of work, then let us remember that we are like fish, living and moving and having our being in the life of God.

It is not our church. It is God’s church. There is no doubt that the same God who calls us to worship will guide us onward as we learn to listen together for the voice of the Spirit. When we bring to our community our willingness to pray – to breathe underwater – we bring an openness to all the possibilities of the One who calls us and walks beside us.

Blessings,

roxy

August 31, 2015 in Ministry Team's Blog by

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