Sunday 27th September, 2015

Welcome to everyone joining us for Tate Street Cluster today. During our time together we will enjoy coffee & cake, hear about some of the mission work at Tate Street Primary School, have a discussion based on the bible reading and then pray for things that are on our minds and hearts.

After this some folk will stay on for lunch and continue fellowship with those who are involved directly in the work at the School. If you are visiting, you are very welcome to join us for all aspects of our gathering to see if you would like to be involved in the way we live out our discipleship.

We believe this is something like the way the first disciples lived out their faith in Jesus as well as most Christians who find themselves living in a different culture to their own. And this is essentially the situation that Australian Christians find themselves in more and more. The job of the church is to equip everyday people with the skills required to pass on their faith to other everyday people. So we can do what Jesus commissioned us to do in Matthew 28:18-20, essentially, “make disciples who make disciples”.

This cuts to the heart of the dilemma facing our own church at the moment. How do we equip each other for ministry yet do justice to the time-honoured traditions of gathered, Christian worship? Personally I believe that part of the answer can be found in the question, “What does Jesus want from us when we gather together?” Or, “How should we use our time together?”

We know that the glimpses of “church”, (which means gathering or assembly), we get in the New Testament includes much of what I’ve mentioned above but also included singing psalms and hymns, giving prophetic words, speaking in tongues, etc, especially in the house churches or “Oikos”. And in the earliest days it also included participating in the temple worship which was common to Jews of the day, but only happened perhaps (up to) three times a year and had more of a festival (3-4 days) experience.

I’m grateful for the participation of so many in the conversation after lunch last week, (which by the way was superb, thanks to Marilyn Slade and her family/team). As promised, the Parish Council will be reviewing the issues raised, ideas offered and considering how we need to make adjustments to keep being faithful in our joint journey with Jesus. We will feed back to you all in later in the year (our next meeting is in October).

God bless,  Ian.