I am very thankful to James Cox who stepped in to preach on Sunday even though we weren’t – sadly – heading away on church camp. (We hope that another campring opportunity may be possible a little later in the year!) I am also very thankful for the way he opened up Romans 12:1-8 for us – his reflections on how the ordinary activity of our lives is spiritual; that what we do every day in our bodies is our worship to God. And – coming back to our community emphasis – that it is when we come together and do this ordinary, spiritual, bodily, worship together that the body of Christ really gets going!
And I love the way the passage ends: “We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us: prophecy, in proportion to faith; ministry, in ministering; the teacher, in teaching;the exhorter, in exhortation; the giver, in generosity; the leader, in diligence; the compassionate, in cheerfulness.”
I was reminded of this prayer (below) and both these things – the prayer and this passage that reminds us that we “are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another” – are good ways to lead into Cecelia’s Community Centre report below!
Grace and peace,
Loving God, your church is made up of people like me.
I help make it what it is.
It will be friendly, if I am.
It will do great work in people’s lives, if I work.
It will make generous gifts to people in need, if I am generous.
It will bring other people into its worship and community,
if I bring them and welcome them.
It will be a church where people grow in faith and serve you,
if I am open to such growth and service.
Therefore with your help, God, we commit ourselves
to being what you want your family to be.
Cecelia’s (possibly last) Community Centre Report at the Church Meeting – 27th February 2022
It’s a bit of a weird report for me to write this time around. It’s the start of the year, so usually my report would be very focused on what’s coming up this year and what opportunities for connection or growth that we have as a centre. But this is also (probably) going to be my last report as Community Centre manager, so it’s the closing of a chapter. I am looking forward to handing over my long-held interim reigns to someone who brings their own thoughts, enthusiasm, and vision to role; and much like the Australian government, I feel like I am in caretaker mode this year, just holding things steady and waiting for the change.
The last three months have been (are usually are) the quietest quarter for the Community Centre because of Christmas break and school holidays. This has been exacerbated by the fact that almost every single one our community groups chose to postpone their start date this year due to Omicron. Both Kingston Kids and Kingston Babies had noticeably reduced numbers to start out the year but in the last week or two those numbers have started bouncing back to normal again, which is exciting!
Despite the Centre being physically quiet, there has still been a fair bit of background work happening. Invoicing for term 4 was quite a complex undertaking as everyone started and finished their ‘term’ at different times and each invoice had different credits applied for unused sessions in lockdown. Additionally, at the start of this year we needed to update our room hire agreement forms to ensure our Covid procedures remain accurate based on ACT Health advice. Full disclosure, even though I am reporting on it as though that has happened, it’s actually still a work in progress.
Although invoicing and compliance is not particularly glamourous work, it is essential for keeping the community centre operating and I have been reminded this week that the community centre is a valuable mission of the Canberra Baptist Church. I think we all have some idea of what mission work looks like, and what I learned from last Sunday is that ‘mission work’ doesn’t always look the way we expect, but it is nevertheless a core part of our Baptist identity (Lisa Churcher might not live in a mud hut, but the work she has been called to do in Uganda is absolutely missional!). I’ve been reflecting on all this while thinking about how we as a church can support the missional work of the Currie Crescent Community Centre. For easy remembering I’ve categorized these mechanisms of support into three P’s:
My two specific prayer requests are these:
-Please be praying over the recruitment process so that we can find someone who has the skills, the heart and the calling to take on the role.
-Please be praying for wisdom and energy for all our community centre group leaders. They have had a pretty tough time over the last couple of years trying to balance the desire to gather and be in community, with the need to protect their (often vulnerable) cohorts.
-We need to do a bit of a spring cleaning around the place, and we can make it a more manageable task by engaging the church community’s help. As my mother often said to us as she divvied up cleaning tasks: “many hands make light work”. Maybe you can rope your small group into all coming along as a group together? Peter Churcher and Kathy Joyce are making plans for spring cleaning so please get in touch with them to find out how and when you can help out. Together we can make sure the centre is always in good nick.
I’d encourage you to volunteer with one of our community centre run programs – or start your own if you have an idea!
-The Cooking Circles team have come up with some ways that we can reduce the burden on lead cooks so that it is easier to get involved and the program can continue to thrive without burning out our current lead volunteers. If you are free on Wednesdays (only twice a month) from 11-2 then please have a chat with Kerstin or I to see whether cooking circles sounds like your kind of thing!
-Kingston Kids has been such a valuable connector for parents in our community, and we are starting to see the relationships flourish outside of the 4 walls of the community centre – for example last week a big group of them went to the park together after playgroup. Caroline (with help from Les and Belinda) does a tremendous job setting up, packing down and running playgroup, but it would be wonderful to strengthen the connection between the church community and the playgroup community through volunteers and assistance on a Tuesday morning. Again, have a chat to Caroline, Belinda or I if you are interested.
That’s about it from me. At risk of doing a John Morrison and saying my farewells only to be standing up here again at the next quarterly meeting, I just want to thank the church for entrusting the Community Centre to my care over the last two years, and for the support I have had to navigate it through a pretty challenging chapter of its existence😊