When writing my reflections I strive to be positive, while offering a challenge. Following last Sundays A.G.M. I admit to finding it increasingly difficult to remain upbeat.
There are 74 separate families listed in our Parish Directory, and many of those listed are couples and families. There are even more on our Parish Roll, yet we had only 54 people at worship on Sunday. Some of these were visitors! Only 25 stayed for our A.G.M.! And most of those who stayed have served faithfully, in many capacities, well into their retirement. Even fewer were willing to accept nomination for any position. If you weren’t here with us, we missed you.
I don’t know what you believe of God but imagine, if you will, God sitting on the heavenly throne, looking upon St Paul’s and thinking, “hmmm, I’m a bit sick of organ music, and the singing at St Paul’s wasn’t the best last week… I don’t think I’ll join them for worship today.”
Or “They keep going over the same stuff at their meetings. Its boring and I have other things I want to do… so Ill give the A.G.M. a miss.”
Or, “Every week, these people confess the same sins – then go out and continue the same behavior. They are hypocrites! I’m not listening or forgiving anymore.”
If you are anything like me such images don’t ring true. My God is faithful and forgiving, and never gives up on us! So, why are we not faithful to God and Gods calling on our lives?
The church is not an empty building. It is made up of the people of God, carrying on the mission of Christ. But this parish can not continue to operate if it is totally dependent on the efforts of a small group of retirees and an even smaller group of under 70’s.
May the grace of God remain with us all as we look for a way forward in this community.