Dear Inner Circle,
Our little chapel service this week looked more like a scene from Noah’s Ark as the rain bucketed down drenching everything in sight. Water was flowing so heavily down the street that it was pouring in under our doors. Over fifty people were crammed into the chapel for the service, their ages ranging from toddlers in gum boots through to an octogenarian. There was even a dog that sprinted all the way to the front of the chapel during the singing to add some interesting sounds to an old hymn for us. No one batted an eyelid. Before the service, our caring frontline crew had seized the initiative and opened the doors early to our visitors to provide towels, blankets, dry clothes and hot cups of tea to help them enjoy some respite from the misery of being soaked to the bone. After a night of sleeping rough in the incessant rain, nothing says ‘I love you’ like dry undies and socks.
We spent a lot of time in silence in our church service as we paused to be in solidarity with another congregation who had lost fifty of their community last Friday. The room was full of aching hearts as news of this tragedy seeped in. There is something quite unsettling when our concept of division breaks down through events like these. Just witness some of the media’s attempts to afford the perpetrator first their humanity and then try and decipher how it went wrong. Our desire to maintain a sense of “us and them” is strong but cannot hold up when the “them” looks like “us” and the “us” looks like “them”. Let us allow our aching hearts to lead the way home to a place where we mourn together as one. An aching heart is the hope for our world.
Thanks for being part of our inner circle,
Jon Jon Owen
Pastor & CEO