St Stephen’s is exploring its future. In some of the discourse the language of “church as family” creeps in which makes it difficult to discern what to do next because we clearly haven’t got all the generations needed for such a group to exist.
My reflections were triggered by taking the funeral of a well-loved member of the community, whose children had grown to faith and life in the church and the suburb.
I wanted to find a way beyond that and think that Rublev’s icon, the print of which is of a replica of the original, and the narrative behind it helps us reclaim the place of community in our thinking.
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The first of these was an attempt to make sense of the place of prayer in our corporate life together.
The Pentecost reflections were interwoven with songs and activities that matched each part. Too often we get caught with one image of the Spirit – one size fits all sort of thing. Of course there’s many more besides, but for me these are what came out of the readings, this time!
I was surprised (but not once I thought about it) to find some of my colleagues taking a similar theme in response to the reading form John. It means I’m not the only one who thinks like this, and I think it also points to the way our western society is diminishing and trivialising the concept of “love.” In a risk averse culture we want our relationships risk free and guaranteed to work. That comes nowhere near a loving relationship in my book.
3 May 2015
Drawing on the image of the vine has always been a favourite of mine. It is an interesting counter to the rampant individualism around me. It invites a strong, supportive interdependence within the community of faith.