We looked back with thanks and looked forward to building a deeper relationship with God as we gathered for our Annual Parochial Church Meeting in April 2015.
Going deeper, looking outward
The main theme to come out of the meeting was the need for each of us to build a deeper relationship with God: to be known not just for what we do, but who we are.
Geoff reminded us that if we grow in our relationship with God, so too our care, compassion, generosity, acceptance and commitment to mission will grow – but if our relationship with God is shallow, we may find ourselves “running on empty”.
We can all choose – or not – to step into the unending flow of God’s grace, to develop a greater inner sense of who we are and to make use of the power of the Holy Spirit in our everyday lives. We need to make space for God in our lives and, indeed, in our building. How can we make it inspire us to pray?
Geoff presented us with the picture of the church as a potting shed. We can’t make the seeds grow, but we can aim to create the best possible conditions in which the seeds can grow.
We spent some time recalling the many things that have happened in and around Christ Church in the past year. Some, such as Messy Church, the Summer Drop-ins and the youth Slum Survivor event, are known to everyone and are causes for celebration. Others have brought sadness to us all. Then there are the joys and struggles each of us has encountered in our personal lives.
Some things mentioned were the sense of God’s presence in services and the signs of God’s love when the church community came together as it had done on the previous day to celebrate a wedding. We heard a moving message of thanks from a member who had been through a time of great difficulty.
Thanks were given to many people who serve “up front” and also behind the scenes to enable all these things to happen, but our greatest sense of gratitude was to the God who inspires and motivates us and who turns our human efforts into something that makes a difference in our lives.