Encouragement for the Journey
Greetings Fellow Traveller,
When the foundation stone of our current brick building was laid on 21st November 1931 New Zealand society was going through what has become known as The Great Depression. This caused mass unemployment and changed the socio Ė political landscape in New Zealand, setting the scene for the growth of the Welfare State. So it is all the more surprising in that climate, a group of men and women decided to move their old wooden Church building and erect this beautiful brick building we are worshiping in today.
Challenges within the community of faith are not new, but what is different from this current era and way back then in the 1930’s is that our society is very very different. The church in the 1930’s was at the very heart of community life. Now the church finds itself at the edge on the fringes of society. How we respond and seek to be church on the fringes is crucial and a constant challenge for us.
An approach we have sought to adopt here at St Aidans in recent years is to accept that one size does not fit all. We have experimented to offer different kinds of services. As well as Embracing a Kids Friendly approach to ensuring the presence of children is honoured and respected. This is our faith experience, just like our predecessors had faith in a different way when they built this building.
One aspect of being at the fringes of society is that we need to ensure that each time a person comes into this building; they experience a deep sense of belonging and acceptance, whoever they are and wherever they are, on their journey of life and faith.
You will be aware coming into our worship space this morning, the seating is around tables, cafe style. This is intentional, the informality and the opportunity to have a conversation across the table is all part of ensuring we honour our belonging and presence as part of this community called St Aidans.
Enjoy the experience this morning, celebrate the good things and be part of the unending conversation of becoming an open and inclusive community, seeking to make a difference, starting with ourselves.
This is a service with a difference, may it make a difference in our individual and communal lives, encouraging us to make a difference with those we meet along the way.