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joycommunityTHE JOY OF COMMUNITY
 

We are just back after the wonderful long Emerge weekend at Rocklands near Simonstown. This is the second year of Emerge and on this one, even more than the previous one, I was reminded afresh of what a beautiful thing Christian community is. We were a great extended family with young and old mingling freely and participating in shared experiences of worship and learning. After both our emerge weekends I have had people say, “I think this is what heaven will be like.”
 
From the outset of my time at Christ Church I have emphasised the essence of our Trinitarian Faith, which asserts that the essence of who God is, is community and shared love. Our fellowship together (koinonia) is not just a little optional add-on after the important stuff of worship and teaching; it is central to who we are as the family of God and as citizens of heaven. I am sure we will hear plenty of testimonies of the wonderful things the Lord did in people’s lives over this weekend and I have no doubt that community will be a theme running through most of them.
 
Being together in the Rocklands campsite encourages community, but it is more difficult when we are back in our scattered and busy lives. How do we build ongoing deeper bonds of community? Most members of Christ Church that I speak to long for deeper togetherness, yet often feel the lack of it. In my experience, unity is enhanced by our being “in motion” – having a shared pilgrimage and purpose.
 
In a church as large and varied as Christ Church it takes shared effort to seek out the mind of the Lord and come to shared conviction about our direction and purpose, but it is vital for our unity and effectiveness in mission. We began this year with a relatively informal survey, “We see a church that…” I was very encouraged by the convergence of many of our longings and our “gut feel” about what we are called to be as the community of Christ Church. Stephen Covey in his book “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” identifies the key importance of “beginning with the end in mind” as his second habit. When we have a clear picture of our desired future it motivates us to strive towards it and it helps us identify the needed steps to enable us to get there.
 
“We see a church...” began that process and now we are in a position to engage much more intentionally with the process. Walter Brueggemann has given much thought to the phenomenon of “prophetic imagination”. The prophets of Israel had a clear picture of the identity and mission that lay at the heart of God’s call to Israel and they strove to re-envision the nation accordingly. What prophetic image of our calling as Christ Church within the suburb of Kenilworth and the city of Cape Town, is our Lord seeking to alert us to?
 
Many of us have loved the imaginative feast of the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy which begins with Bilbo Baggins’ 111th birthday party and an epic and heroic quest that falls on the shoulders of his nephew, Frodo. Next year is our 111th birthday and it is a good time to re-focus on our quest and mission as CCK. In preparation for this significant year I am inviting all of us to devote the first four Wednesday evenings of November to a guided process of review and preview as we gather around a facilitated process of prophetic imagination under the guidance of Caroline Powell and a team from the Warehouse. What could this church be in 20 or 30 years’ time? What would truly rich community life look like? What steps do we need to take to get there? These are questions to address and then take into our 111th year. Please, let’s all make the Wednesday evenings of 1st, 8th, 15th and 22nd November a priority and then culminate it all in our Church Meeting on 29th November.
 
I look forward to the ride!
 
Warmest regards
Rob
 

Rob Taylor, 28/09/2017

 
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Christ Church Kenilworth  |  Cnr Summerley & Richmond Road  |  Tel: +27 (021) 797 6332  | E-mail: reception@cck.org.za
Service Times: Sunday Worship  8.00am, 10.00am & 6.30pm  |  Wednesday Service: 10am   | Thursday Quiet Service: 6.30pm (fortnightly)

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