Last Sunday was the Annual General Meeting at the Church. As the name indicates, we all get together once per year and have a meeting. We look at the state of the finances and choose the Church council for the next year. The Church finances generated much discussion, for they are not looking so great. That is why we need to carry on fundraising, just to survive.
Our congregation is getting older, and although our electoral roll had increased slightly if stands at only 116, of which perhaps 40 to 45 people had attended the meeting. Lucky we do not need a quorum to elect the Council.
So how should a Church look like in the modern times? Are we wasting our time and resources trying to maintain the buildings for fewer and fewer people. Actually Father Peter answered this question himself in his sermon this morning. He noted that although today many are turning away from the established Church, and prefer instead a “pick and mix” variation of religion, this is not what we are about. Jesus Christ called on the early disciples to form a Church in his name, to go out and make disciples of men. The early Church may have met in small rooms in people houses, but they still met. They had to come together to support and teach each other and to learn the word.
And so, even in this modern age, where we can look up the Word on the Internet, along with many different interpretations of the word, Father Peter argues that we need to be a Church and come together, otherwise many will stray from the true path.
St Ursula’s is an Anglican Church in a foreign land; it will never draw a huge congregation. However, for many it is the only Church they can attend, due to a lack of suitable alternatives because of language or tradition. The future lies in attracting more young people, young families, and young professionals. That is the challenge for the new council.
Father Peter also announced his retirement this year. This came as a big surprise to many, but he will be 70 this year so maybe it should not have been. There will be a new Pastor coming to our Parish, or perhaps he or she is already within it. A new Pastor always brings new ways and changes, whether we like it or not. We will be praying for the right person to come and as well as Prayer we will be taking steps to raise the profile of giving, and to make our Church more relevant to young people.
An idea could be to appoint a Youth representative to the Council. This representative would come from the Youth of the Church, chosen by them to represent their voice on the Church council. For one can be sure that nothing will turn our youth off quicker than an adult presuming to know what they want.
what do you think? we would love to hear your views about the relevance of Church today and how to make it more appealing to people young and old.
Disclaimer: Although this blog is under the name of St Ursula’s Church, the contributions are from regular congregation members, with no religious training. The views expressed within each post are those of the respective author and do not necessarily represent the views of other members or of the leadership of St Ursula’s Church.