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Thanksgiving for all we are now

20 August, 2023

Twenty years ago, the church known as St Giles was filled with celebration, expectation and God’s presence as the inaugural service for the then Koornang Uniting Church took place.

Favourite hymns were sung, commitments were made, symbols were given, and the word of God was preached. Here was an example of what the Uniting Church in Australia was all about – uniting.

Things are a little different now as we gather to mark this anniversary. Our people who will gather are different, there will be people gathering online which is different, the layout of the church building is different, in fact the layout of the whole complex is different. Over the last 20 years we have lost some people and gained some people – each with their own special gifts and skills offered here to our community.

These differences have meant change, these differences have meant we’ve needed to rethink how and why we do things. That rethinking is a never-ending process in the church as we interact with the world. As the world changes so must the church do the same. Our reading from Matthew today shows us of the changes that Jesus made so that more people could be welcomed and accepted into God’s love. This is an interesting reading with a number of different thoughts about it and I am looking forward to where Rev Al Macrae goes with it.

Our reading from Romans is Paul being Paul but through it comes the love and grace of God.

Last week I spoke of the love of God, and I believe this week it comes up again. When I spoke with Al about what he might say on Sunday the comment that sticks with me is “We’ve just got to fall in love with Jesus again” (or something similar).

I think we’ve been trying to work on that more as we look at our mission and ministry, as we explore our place in the world today and as we share the Good News we have been entrusted with.

Jay Robinson

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