Last Sunday (am I really that far behind!) was a pretty good day. The day started by taking up a great opportunity to preach St. Augustines, a parish church (which happens to be the parish I live in), in which I have known some people for a little while. It was good to catch up with people and I seemed to get positive comments from my sermon, which got some people asking questions – which is always my aim when I preach! I came away thinking this is a great parish church looking at ways in which it can engage well with it’s community.
In the afternoon we had the first gathering of 2012. I guess we are developing a way of working or ‘tradition’; and it seems to be a developing tradition that at the start of the year we do ‘the journey’ which I have blogged a lot about elsewhere.
The journey gives us a safe opportunity to consider where we are with God and where other members of the community are. It reminds us that the Christian life is a journey of good and bad, of joy and sadness, of cruising and battling. It reminds us that all of these stages are valid, all are necessary, and so all are ‘right’ places to be in in their season. Most importantly, it reminds us, and shows the younger members of our community, that Christianity is real and we don’t need to pretend it is easy. It shows that having difficulties and questioning God are not signs of ‘back-sliding’ but are actually signs of discipleship being taken seriously.
Last Sunday – two totally different gatherings, but both rooted in prayer, faith and worship of the Creator God. That inclusiveness and commitment to engaging with a theological diversity is one of the things I love about the Church of England!