Connecting God’s spirit with each other
(Pictured) The Moderator with retired Ministers in May 2015 at the UTalk gathering
At the opening service of Synod 2014, I shared my vision for the Church as: A living sign of God; a dwelling place of God; an alternative community of God; and a people connecting God’s spirit with other people and the whole creation.
This month I would like to reflect on the Church as ‘a people connecting God’s spirit with other people and the whole creation’.
Last month, I participated in six days training with the Sydney Alliance. More than 40 people from non-government and non-profit organisations, as well as a few other individuals, came to learn how to work together as a broad community organisation.
Since the inception of Sydney Alliance in 2009, many of its members have attended workshops to learn how to practice ‘relational meeting’. These are meetings arranged by two people, in order to intentionally get to know each other.
As someone from a Culturally and Linguistically Diverse background (also referred to as a CALD) I found the idea of a relationship meeting rather demanding at first — as if I was doing speed dating! Surprisingly, even with my reservations, each and every relational meeting that I had with a union worker, community organiser or university student was a good experience. They enabled me to share my faith journey as I also genuinely listened to the other person’s story.
I will continue to engage in relational meetings to share my story. In doing so, I anticipate that I will also discover the sacred story that forms who I am in my relationship with Jesus.
So may I encourage each of you, even if you share some of my initial reservations, to engage in relational meetings. In doing so, may I also remind you of the words of Paul the apostle:
‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!’ (Romans 10: 15)
In May this year, I invited retired ministers to the first gathering of U-Talk. Among old colleagues and friends, there was sharing — through spontaneous conversation — of insights and wisdom, as wellas experience of moments of enlightenment. I was overwhelmed by the energy brought, and the passion shared, by our retired ministers, especially when they talked about God moments. They also reflected on their experience of enlightenment and their life-long witness to the mystery of God.
But the most challenging insight I gleaned from the collective wisdom at U-Talk was that God is everywhere. Not only in the church, but also in the community; in the face of others, and in the nature around us. So we need to ‘be still, and know that I am God.’ (Psalm 46:10)
So, let us remember it is the desire of our Lord that we all become one in Him and His Son. We should remember this whether we connect with friends through social media or arrange relational meetings with the aim of building better relationships (as we work together toward the common good). Or maybe it will be as we share our God moments and affirm our witness of God’s presence everywhere, or as we celebrate the Season of Creation in September.
“Father, I pray that all who believe in me can be one. You are in me and I am in you. I pray that they can also be one in us. Then the world will believe that you sent me”. (John 17: 21)
Blessings to you all in our connectedness.
Rev. Myung Hwa Park, Moderator