This morning I wandered down to the James Squire brewery in amongst the Docklands waterfront of Melbourne. It wasn’t because I was thirsty for a brew, rather I was thirsty for The Word of God. I’d heard about this church from Rune, a girl I had met at Semi-Permanent in Sydney back in April, and then again here in Melbourne. She’d told me it was a great community church that was rich in it’s teaching.
When I arrived there wasn’t much of an indication that a church was conducting a service there. When I’d worked out how to get in I was met with a room starting to fill with people…. After meeting a few people the service began.
Compared to my normal service at St Pauls there were a few discrepancies:
- The songs sung were very praise based i.e. how we praise God, and less about Jesus’ sacrifice and the nature of God.
- The Bible reading was a video. The words used in the voiceover were different to the NRSV Bibles placed on seats, which we weren’t encouraged to open until the sermon began.
- There was a fair amount of public recognition of congregation members for their work. There wasn’t any recognition of God in these things.
It was interesting to see how things are at different churches and in different diocese. It also made me see how privileged we are at St Pauls and as Sydney Anglicans to hear the Word preached faithfully, in context, and in light of Jesus. It also showed me how great our ministers James and Mike are in their attitude to newcomers; making the effort to sit and talk to them.