Weekly letter from St Luke's - 27 November 2020
Dear Parish Friends
The last two evenings I have heard people speaking about what they do in the service of the church. On Wednesday the Rev’d Peter Palmer spoke on the Mathew Hale Public Public library online seminar. He was deeply moving as he described his varied experiences both in the outback and with miners in Cooper Pedy. But the illustration that will stick with me was his question, ‘if there is a tree of monkeys and you are on the ground, what do you see?’ The answer (politely) is all you see is monkey bottoms. He then went on to say that what he saw he needed to do was to get down from the tree and be on the ground. In other words, to engage with a community you need to be part of the community. (Peter’s talk was recorded and is available at https://youtu.be/OrDab10-hhM).
Then last night Bruce and Libby spoke at the dinner kindly hosted by Tim and Sue Vassella. Their mission is that of CMS for a ‘world that knows Jesus’, but they do this by being part of their community, working in medicine and education, getting alongside people and sharing God’s good news in what they do. Bruce said that what they do overseas is just the same as what they would have done had they remained in Brisbane, albeit in a different context.
Peter Palmer and Bruce and Libby are very different people, and approach their ministry using their own unique skills, and in the places where God has placed them. The same applies to us. As individuals and as a parish we have our own way of being, and our own locale. This means that, whilst the general principle of walking alongside others holds, what and how we do things will be different. It is the same as us looking at neighbouring churches of different denominations and trying to emulate their methods. We are not them, we have our own history and priorities.
Hence the importance of looking at OUR parish’s vision and developing a mission plan. What is our niche in God’s world plan? How can we use our skills and resources to move forward? I encourage you, if you are able, to join the discussion this Sunday morning at 10.30am.
We start the new church year this weekend on Advent Sunday and I look forward to celebrating our services with you. The notice paper and service sheets for the Saturday evening 6pm online service and Sunday 9am service, also streamed on Zoom, are attached.
May we begin this Advent season as an ‘Advent People’, people of hope, ready to do God’s will in the way in which God has called us.
With blessings for the week ahead.
Yours in Christ