A section of Athelstone UC’s church facilities has been made available as a Federal Government-funded, GP-led Respiratory Clinic for COVID-19 testing. The new clinic opened yesterday.
By Mark Schultz
Posted in Culture
When I began in my first ministry placement, the congregation was preparing for Christmas.
Having not been in placement at Christmas time before, I delved in to research what had been done previously. I found old orders of service, carols sung, resources used and, of course, the command that the Christmas Day service would start thirty minutes early and could go no longer than forty-five minutes. That way, if you got there at the usual time, you only had to persevere for fifteen minutes!
The other piece of information received was that the congregation letter box dropped a postcard about the Christmas events to the local community every year.
As I pondered it, I thought to myself, “What a waste! It will take people’s time and energy, the congregation's finances, and organization (we were too late to utilize the offering of the Synod’s cards).” But we did it anyway.
I can’t say the whole community turned up to all of our Christmas activities over the period, but I can certainly say that over my few years with that congregation, dozens of people from near and far did come along because of those efforts. For some, it was a beginning of a longer term connection with congregation, for others it was a reminder that there were locals reaching out to give others the opportunity to worship locally when they normally did so further afield.
We are in a time when our Church has been declining for some years. And yet, as members of the community of God, the body of Christ, it is upon us to share something of the joy, comfort and fellowship of faith to those around us. To do that in an intentional, organized, professional way shows that it is a genuine priority to welcome others to your congregation.
There are many ways of doing this, some taking more or less effort. The Communications Team of the Synod of South Australia has been providing a simple way of doing this through their postcards, on which you can place your own events on the back. It is simple, fairly cheap and meaningful.
Mark Twain said, “Many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising.” Even if you don’t think that many others would want to join with your congregation at important times of the Christian calendar, why rob the one or two or maybe many more of that chance? It might be just the right thing and it might be exactly what God had in mind. But if not, try something else. If you want more ideas, I would love to talk to you.
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