Dear All Saints,
I hope and pray that you have all had a week full of opportunities for faith conversations with those around you. I continue to be so encouraged by the stories we are hearing of people who are expressing warmth and interested in understand who we are and more about the hope of the Gospel.
I was at a conference last week up in Auckland with many other church and academic leaders. It was a time full of learning and challenge and a strong theme present in all of the content and discussion was of how we present God to the world in a way that they are able to receive the healing and hope that comes from God. I had the joy of connecting with many friends in ministry throughout the country at this conference and in one of my conversations over lunch we were discussing how all of us are currently feeling that we are being offered a ministry of presence and being ‘normal’. We are all priests who often hear from people, “you’re not what I expected a priest to be”. But this concept of being present and ‘normal’ applies to all of us. The more I learn to be missional in our community the more I realise that it’s really just about showing up, loving well, and being able to sit with people in their questions of faith, allowing God to move in their hearts. Sometimes we might have some answers or being able to offer clear words of hope. Other times we won’t have any clue what to say or how to answer the hard questions but that doesn’t make us ill equipped for the role God has called us to. Being humble and loving in those moments is often just what people need.
As we continue in our sermon series about the Gospel let’s keep praying for opportunities to be present and normal with those God puts around us. And let’s keep sharing the stories with one another so we can all witness the way the Holy Spirit is moving around us.