Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Where is Your Church?

As a Pastor I’m often asked where the church I pastor is. Where is St Luke’s? In many ways it is a logical question, but at the same time, a question that misses the point in regards to what the church is. We’ve become culturally conditioned to equate a church with a building. St Luke’s doesn’t have a building or a facility. A church isn’t simply a building. Where is St Luke’s then?

A church is a community of people who’ve responded to God’s call to live the Way of Jesus with faith and trust in him. So on a Sunday you’ll find our church gathered at the Mount Sports Clubrooms (you’re welcome anytime). The rest of the week however you’ll find our church scattered here and there throughout the Tauranga community. Young and old, students, stay home mums or dads, doctors, sparkies, dentists, teachers, builders, volunteers, those looking for work, those retired from work. You’ll find us here, there, and everywhere. A Church is therefore not a building, but rather a community that gathers and scatters to live out the call to follow Jesus.
We gather to celebrate the work of God in our lives and world. We gather around God’s Word, around the Lord’s Table and in his presence. We don’t gather simply to watch or to consume a ‘service,’ rather we gather to participate in community. We gather to stand alongside each other, to love one another, to pray for one another, to encounter God in one another, to encourage one another, and to greet and welcome the stranger and the sojourner. We call this ‘churching’ and we gather to ‘church’ each other; it’s a verb!

We’re not always gathered though. We scatter. We scatter embracing the challenge of living as those that bear witness to the life changing reality of God in the nooks and crannies of everyday life. We attempt to live as representatives of love and grace in our work places, where we study, in sports teams, to the stranger and in our various friendship circles; everywhere and anywhere life takes us. We are called to be the church Monday through Saturday, to at times shine boldly as a light and to at times flavour subversively as salt the world around us, with creative and authentic proclamation of the Good News of Jesus. 

You’re welcome to join us when we gather this Sunday. We’re a community not a building.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

13 for 2013

My previous post covered my goals for 2013, mainly a quest to eliminate certain things for a month rather than to add more into my life. Someone described it as a year long Lent. It is a bit like that I guess. I see this as a good thing. 
I do also want to make sure I do a few random things throughout the journey of 2013 as well though.
Here they are...  

1. sleep under the stars (pretty sure this one won't look like the picture)
2. take Annamari for dinner at a restaurant
3. distill my own vodka (harder and easier than you might think)
4. go to a concert (missed Weezer unfortunately)
5. read The History of NZ
6. run a half marathon (my own one prob)
7. preach a series on the book of Revelation
8. take Lisa on a surprise date
9. take Romeo to an All Blacks Test   
10. finish the hull on the Endeavor
11. jump off a bridge (can't remember when last did)
12. bake someone a cake (a gateau)
13. ???
I need help with one more?

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

2013 Goals

Goals in my experience tend to be about adding, fitting, squeezing and cramming more into your life than before. This year I’ve decided to make my goals more about taking things out; removing rather than adding. I don’t think I could fit much more in anyway. They are not all “no” goals but most are. I still need help with two more months if you have any ideas.

Jumping on board with an idea a Facebook friend made me aware of, basically setting goals one month at a time or rather for a month, I’ve 12 goals for 2013. You can read the article Rethinking Resolutions here.

January – Knock 1/3 of grocery bill for the month.  Attempt to make grocery bill 2/3 of normal bill by eating more simply, more cheaply and also by consuming some of the food items that have sat in the freezer or pantry for an extended period of time.  

February – No sugar for a month.  No lollies, sweet treats, alcohol, fizzy, ice cream etc.

March – No social media for a month. No Facebook, no twitter, no blogs. Consuming or producing.

April – No caffeine for a month. No coffee or caffeinated drinks.

May –

June – No consuming for a month. Other than AP’s, utility bills etc. No spending for a month. Only places money will be spend will be supermarket and petrol station.

July – No meat for a month. One month as a vegetarian. Bring on black beans!

August – Read The History of New Zealand by Michael King. I’ve wanted to do this for ages and with my reading largely dictated by studies, this August I’m saying “No, I will not be dictated do!”

September –

October – No staying up late for a month. Go to bed early, lights out, by 9:25pm each night.

November – No television for a month. No watching sport, movies, docos, the news etc.

December – No brand new Christmas gifts. Up-cycle/re-cycle/homemake all Christmas gifts and accessories. This includes cards, wrapping paper, etc.

Caveats: If needs be will swap months around. Also I will compromise on a goal for pastoral or missional reasons if it would be prudish to not make an allowance. This is not to create an easy out but rather the goals are to serve me and be help me but I am not a slave to them.  
You're welcome to join me on any of these.