Being on a Bus and Being at Church

By Not Known

Being on a crowded bus is something of an art. There we are, squeezed into the intimate space of another person. Decency and psychological space are maintained by studiously avoiding any word, any eye contact or any other action that acknowledges the other person.

Being at church is sometimes like that. There we are, sitting in our pew, all focussed forward in a privatised act of worship. We could be all alone (and perhaps want to be) except for the briefest of contact as the collection plate is passed from one to another. After the benediction we avoid further contact by scurrying for the bus and its impersonal ride home. Is this the best that we can do?

During September we are having a special focus on the work of congregational care. The sign hanging on Dunman Hall gives the theme for the month: Get into action! Stop staring …. Start loving! Our congregational care month is built around two simple realities: we all need care and we all can care.

These realities are expressed in the ‘one-another‘ sayings of the Bible. The one another sayings mainly refer to relations between Christian people. They describe things that we are meant to think, feel, say and do within the family of God’s people. For us, this starts in ORPC.

The basic saying is to ‘love one another‘ and that is today’s particular focus. This saying is emphasised by being repeated several times (Jn 13:34; Rom 13:8; 1 Jn 3:11,23; 4:7,11,12). There is a sense in which all the remaining one another sayings are an expression of this one.

To love one another we need to know one another. Our Congregational Care Committee has arranged a number of activities to help us do that this month. Some will happen during services (Covenant Cards and Care Cards). Some will happen in the hall after services (special morning tea for our most senior members plus ‘Getting to know you’ with church leaders). And on Sunday 26 September we have the chance for that best of all ‘getting to know you’ activities – we will eat together in the ‘Guess Who’s Coming To Lunch / Dinner?’ activity.

Please join in all these activities with active enthusiasm. They are our opportunity to make coming to church a little less like a bus ride and a little more like the gathering of God’s family.