Encouragement for the Journey – 27/11/11

An inclusive Christian community in Auckland, New Zealand

Encouragement for the Journey – 27/11/11

Greetings Fellow Traveller,

Welcome to our friends from St Andrews, by way of explanation, I write this weekly column to encourage us here at St Aidans on the journey. Each week I seek to explore life and faith from different perspectives and vantage points. I hope this week you are encouraged on your journey?

There is an expression which goes something like ‘so near, yet so far away.’ I often think of that when I reflect upon how close geographically our two congregations are, yet in many ways, we could well be a million miles apart. Today then, is a very special gathering, for we are coming together a second time in three months to share in worship and fellowship. This is cause for celebration and rejoicing, for something new between our congregations is being birthed. This must be nurtured and embraced as a work of God’s providence and grace. Why? You may ask.

The changing nature of our NZ society means that no longer is the Church, the centre of society, rather, it finds itself, firmly on the fringe or edge of society. We can no longer afford to be isolationists; the challenges are too great, we truly do need each other, indeed, the metaphors and images of the Church in the New Testament, are images of interconnectedness and interdependence i.e. the body of Christ, a spiritual house, and God’s people. In light of these images, we come together for worship and fellowship, for who knows what will blossom forth, as we seek to follow in the footsteps of our master Jesus. Who taught his followers to practice being in relationship, this indeed demonstrates the power of God’s love.

I take this opportunity to acknowledge how much I have appreciated Chris Bedford’s collegiality over the past two years, from our conversations and friendship these shared services were conceived and birthed. May God’s love, strength and guidance be with Chris and Sue, on the next step of their journey of life and faith and Christian service.

Meanwhile Peace,

Alf