On Friday night I was torn. I was torn between watching the Blues play the Highlanders, the Breakers play the Taipans, and the Royal Wedding. In the end I had to go with watching the Breakers make history (I can watch replays of the Blues) and then, yes, I did watch the wedding. Whilst I pretended to protest about having to watch the wedding, I secretly quite enjoyed it. Having conducted quite a few weddings, I especially enjoyed watching how very experienced and brilliant church leaders did it. This was one of those rare opportunities when the church gets to play a central role in a key public event with billions of people watching. Whilst it was very ‘High-brow’, I thought Rowan Williams and his crew were excellent – there can’t be many more high pressured weddings to conduct than that one! I’m always struck by how much I enjoy the richness of liturgy. Well worded words make a difference. I enjoyed the liturgy, the hymns and the sermon. But, I’m a Christian, and someone who’s had to lead weddings, so it doesn’t take much to win my vote. What about you? How did you think the church did in the public eye?
Another place where I find myself torn is on Facebook. On Facebook I have many worlds colliding. I have friends from lots of different circles of my life in one space. I have friends who I have made since I’ve become a Christian and I have friends from before I was a Christian. I was interested to find out what people from these different worlds thought of the royal wedding and especially what they thought about the church’s role in the wedding. Within minutes people were posting on Facebook about the wedding. One pastor friend wrote “ Enjoyed the wedding. Thought the service was great! I think I'll steal some of that sermon...was very good .” To which a chorus of Christian voices replied “ I agree. Very good sermon. Not too long but covered all the points, I think.” Another wrote, “I think the sermon was the highlight of the ceremony.” Within my Christian friends the church had done very well. But Christians would say that wouldn’t we. I read some posts by some other friends who didn’t think the church’s input was quite that good. “Can sum1 get one of those snipers to sniper that priest, he’s so …. boring!” Another replied, “bahahaha, and get the other 50 snipers to sniper the choir. Enough singing already!” Another friend posted “ Seriously! Is anyone still awake after all these wedding songs???” To which someone gave their version of the perfect wedding, “ Hey Queen Latifah, when you marry your Maori prince I expect Ten Guitars only… with lots of Lion Reds” For many of these friends the church’s input was like being served brussels sprouts – it’s something you have to swallow because you’re a guest.
Clearly it’s easy for Christians to score points with other Christians, but it’s much harder to score points with those who are not Christians. As those who’re engaged in Christian ministry and mission I think we need to be torn. If we only minister to Christians, we might score many points but they will tend to be easy points. It’s much greater challenge to score points with those who aren’t Christians. I hope that you have many worlds colliding in your life and, as a friend of mine says, you embrace the tension.
2 May 2011 Semester 1
Community Worship 11:15am-12pm
Facilitated by Lance Pilbrow and Daniel Bedford
Guest Speaker: Digby Wilkinson
After Dinner Mints @ lunch
Digby Wilkinson: is the Senior Pastor of Palmerston North Central Baptist. He has served in several New Zealand churches, both Baptist and Anglican and is a powerful witness to God’s grace in the face of burn out and brokenness.
Prayer for our hurting world
Come and join us as we intercede for our hurting world over the next 6 weeks.
May 4 The Poor
May 11 The Sick
May 18 War
May 25 Mission Week
June 1 The Persecuted Church
June 8 The Displaced
Conversations around Love Wins, Rob Bell’s latest book
May 19 @ 7pm
23 -27 May
PRAYER for our Hurting World
We begin a series of interceding for our hurting world. Come along on Wednesdays at 12.40 at the Chapel as we pray together. All are welcome!
CALLING ALL DISTANCE STUDENTS!
Have you completed at least one semester? Then complete the following survey. Be honest and critical.
The first fifty completed surveys will receive a $30 gift voucher.
Board/Flat available from the beginning of June – 9 minutes walk or 2 minutes drive from college, on Oranga Ave. The house is shared with a friendly single Mum and two children (4 & 10) who are there half the week. Contact Neroli if you are interested.
NZ SIGN LANGUAGE WEEK
This week is NZ Sign Language week. Check out the following website for further information.
BREAKING FREE – IN STEP WITH THE SPIRIT
In association with Auckland Baptist Women’s Ministries & NZ Baptist Women’s Ministries.
This is happening on the 28 May 2011 at 3pm. $25 per person (including Dinner)
Northcote Baptist Church 67 Eban Avenue
Highlights include Amelia Gavidi, President of Fijian Baptist Women, Lyn Campbell, Julie Belding, Ruby Duncan
Email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org