In the UK, street living Robbie offers stranded Dominique his last three pounds for a fare. Dominique declines, but is so moved by Robbie’s gesture that she reciprocates. These are Advent voices. Read what happened from there!
A number of delegates to the convention were impressed when I said that I was present largely through the largesse of my home congregation at Wembley Downs. So this would be a good spot to say thanks to folk like John & Margaret Somerville and Ken Patterson and my church board and elders who prodded me when I was humming and harring as to whether I would attend this gathering. It seems that congregations that are alive to the passion and vision of the Stone-Campbell heritage, while enthusiastic in a local or regional setting, are straining to catch the global vision. Many jurisdictions are experiencing the anxiety of restructure and are thus internally focused. It will always be incumbent upon a few, across all three streams, to be a kind of “global Jiminy Cricket” – voices to keep reminding us that we need to remember where we came from in order to know where we are going. So my thanks to Wembley Downs for their largeness of vision and the will to put strength (and their minister) behind it.
By the way, Jenny tells me a lot of folk have been reading this blog and discussing it. How about bringing the conversation on line and using the “comments” box at the end of each entry. You can sign anonymous!
Lots and lots of oranges have been boosting some of our local church fund-raising projects. One church family decided life was not busy enough, so invested in an orange orchard near Bindoon, about 100 kms north of Perth. Since then, the whole congregation and beyond has had regular access to a healthy dose of Vitamin C. Recently, on an untypically rainy day for this time of year, we all invaded the Bindoon property and learned a lot about growing and harvesting oranges. So what’s the deep and meaningful point? I don’t know – except it was one of those serendipitous days that burns itself into a church’s collective consciousness and reminds her in good times and dark how good it is to belong together and share a common life in Christ.
I like this quote from Dorothy Day:
“To attack poverty by preaching voluntary poverty seems like madness. But again, it is direct action….To be profligate in our love and generosity, spontaneous, to cut all the red tape of bureaucracy! The more you give away, the more the Lord will give you to give. It is a growth in faith. It is the attitude of the [person] whose life of common sense and faith is integrated. To live with generosity in times of crisis is only common sense. In the time of earthquake, flood, fire, people give recklessly; even governments do this.”
Reminds me of the “loaves and fishes” principle. The more you give the more there is to give. Hard to get that across in some church budgetary processes – not my current one, I hasten to add!