Community turns 146

30 Jun

This last Sunday we celebrated the dedication of St Jude’s some 146 years. In so doing we celebrated not the building but the community which has worshiped, served and supported one another over that time.St Jude’s has always been committed to community and to being open and welcoming to all. And it shows in the ministries operating within the church and the variety of people who attend. Often people ask why I am at St Jude’s. My answer is simple, ‘it’s a good place to be, there is no rush to get anywhere in terms of numbers, achievements or activities’. Yet the numbers are stable, each day great things are achieved within the ministries of the church and the variety and number of activities and their attendances blossom.To be is the hardest thing to do for it asks us to trust our experience, our knowledge of who we are and of what we have to offer. Avoiding the mad scramble to be relevant is vital for the faith of any community. The Christian church, from its inception has been, on the whole irrelevant. It’s message of unconditional love, doing unto others, putting others before self and loving your enemies ,of which the life and death of Jesus is the radical summation, is still irrelevant.Yet it is what is most attractive in the church as Christ body here on earth. It is still what brings and keeps people, not the latest music, the newest gimmicks or the best marketing campaigns. It is still the irrelevancy of its reason for being – love – which attracts people to it.St Jude’s is a community which maintains that truth. To quote Thomas Merton on community – “… we should not be too anxious about “getting anywhere” with community, except that community itself should “be” and celebrate itself in love.” (Thomas Merton – A Life In Letters 55)

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