Let’s Take the Next Step

“One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” These are the famous words attributed to Neil Armstrong when he became the first human to walk on the moon in 1969. Individuals and organisations take the necessary steps in order to head towards a desired direction and destination. There are two observations taking place that invite us to consider our “next steps”. The first, we are midweek through Reconciliation Week (27/5 – 3/6) with its theme of “Lets’ take the next step” It is a time annually set in Australia to “celebrate indigenous history and culture in Australia and to foster reconciliation discussion and activities”.

The second observation is Pentecost Sunday, which is today, set by the church to celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the first disciples. The book of Acts chapter one, provides details of the visitation: When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. 2 And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3 Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability. 5Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. 6 And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. (Acts 1:1-6)

The word which comes to mind as I reflect on these important occasions in the life of our nation and the life of the church is the word reconciliation. It means the act to reconcile. A definition the Macquarie dictionary gives for the word reconcile is – to win over to friendliness: to reconcile a hostile person.

Reconciliation Week invites all Australians, Indigenous and non–indigenous to take steps to becoming reconciled towards each other. Pentecost Sunday is God, again, taking the next step. With Jesus returned to the Father, now the Holy Spirit comes to empower the church to proclaim in word and deed the mission of God reconciling the creation to God-self. In short, the mission of God is the mission of the church.

In preparing ourselves to carry out the mission of God in this time and place, the congregation of HXUC has taken steps to develop the following vision statement:

Loving God, neighbour and self with heart, mind, soul and strength.

In order to achieve these it has developed the Four Pathways of Mission:

1. Shaping church life to maximise the congregation’s potential in mission and worship
2. Partnering with each other as the Body of Christ in the City of Wyndham and beyond
3. Investing in people and programs to create a truly outstanding church
4. Embracing the digital world to enhance connection with the congregation and community

You could say, the next step, is for each of you at HXUC to see where you, yes you, can contribute to realising the pathways of mission and fulfil our vision statement. You may wonder how on earth you could possibly make a difference. Well, one thing is for sure, Pentecost is the reminder to us all, that with God all things are possible!

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