From Rev Andrew Smith
Presbytery Minister - Congregation Futures
Telling and hearing stories about a time when you clearly saw God at work in congregations, faith communities and agencies across our Presbytery is going to make for incredibly enriching conversations at the first of our Presbytery gatherings this year as an important kick off to our Presbytery mission planning throughout 2022.
To help encourage you in a story you might tell, here is a story from Braidwood Uniting Church:
Joan and Bill (names changed) dropped into the manse with some tools to donate to the Op Shop. A lonely couple in the mood for a chat, we heard about the recent death of Joan’s dad, and the challenges of packing up the remnants of his life. As the conversation moved to firmer ground, Radio Church became the topic. As you might know, with the onset of Covid restrictions, Braidwood UC approached the local community radio station with the hope of providing a church service on air. Steve, our treasurer, found a new passion for this unique, yet retro mission. This space grew with buy-in from the Anglican and Catholic congregations in town, and the truly ecumenical service seemed to be well received by the community. As church doors reopened and we once again met together in person, the station graciously allowed Radio Church to continue. However, Joan, a radio presenter herself, filled in more of the story. “We were not real keen when church on the radio was suggested. Who would want to listen to that? We thought it would be on air for just a short time, and you’d all give up.” Admittedly, we were thinking something similar. Little did any of us know what God would do with our foray into the public media. Bill continued, “We can’t measure how many listeners have their ears tuned to the radio, but we do count listeners that have joined from further afield through the internet. Blow me down if Steve and your radio church haven’t done better than any other presenter we have. Radio Church gets more than double the listeners that Joan gets on air. We can’t believe it… but we want to know if Steve would do another time slot each week with gospel music.” After 100 ecumenical worship services on air, Braidwood Radio Church is going from strength to strength. It seems that Radio Church holds the largest congregation in Braidwood. Braidwood Community Radio on 88.9fm. Our call sign: “Many voices – Three congregations – One Great God.”
I look forward to hearing stories from you at our first Presbytery gathering this year about a time when you clearly saw God at work in congregations, faith communities and agencies across our Presbytery.
The dates for these Presbytery gatherings align with the Presbytery meetings. They will be the first of half of the Saturdays on 19 March, 21 May, 20 August, and 19 November, starting at 10am. You will be very welcome to stick around for the business work of the Presbytery in the afternoons, but mostly we would really value your participation in the first half of the days.
These gatherings will be open for all to attend who are keen to be part of contributing to aspirations for the future life and witness of congregations, faith communities and agencies across our Presbytery as we seek a fuller participation in Christ’s mission in the world.