Every year at this time I try to find uplifting and motivating thoughts I want to give us with a marvellous banquet of words to feed and sustain enrich and inspire us for another year. They never seem to be there when needed so I fall back as ever on Spirit and ask them to provide the feast. Their response gave me food for thought right enough. “We can only cook a meal with the ingredients you give us”.
Well we have given what we can, and as a result have had some wonderful times, even thinking about them gives pleasure. However, in trying to repeat them for the coming year we have to acknowledge that we may not have the same combination of circumstances or people. I often think the same meal heated up and served the second day doesn’t taste quite the same. A living organism must change to live; the only thing that doesn’t change is a fossil. Fortunately we do move with the changing times. Not perhaps as fast as we might like but rather with a slow gentle effort because we are a community of like minds who care passionately about our church and each other.
We try always to reach a consensus of opinion on bringing forward new developments but without losing the good and best of established practices. This is not easy. We always have to walk the tightrope between what is good in a spiritual way and what is necessary in the material life. In our endeavours however, I am reminded that we are not alone in our concern for the wellbeing of our church for “where two or three are gathered together there am I also”. We have a tradition and a heritage which is far beyond anything the individual possesses.
Traditionally we have always believed Spirit help us in our endeavours for our church although some people would claim that they can live entirely by faith, God will provide. They don’t need money. But in a way they are entirely dependent on people who do think twice about money and how they can earn it, save it and handle it with a sense of responsibility. We know our church is dependent on the generous financial support of our congregation. Yes, Spirit will provide but we have to work for it, and work we do, we know we can never afford to sit back and think these seats will be filled by some magical process. A church is not a business, but that is no reason why it should not be run in a business-like way.
Forward planning is part of our business approach to managing our resources. We always have the on-going work on Health and Safety Matters, Refurbishment, Cleaning and Maintenance of Property and Gardens, Archiving Material, Publicity and Communication, Booking of Mediums, Private Sittings, Workshops, Development Circle and Social Events etc., as well as some new developments for the coming year, (Our Secretary and Treasurer will touch on these in more detail in their Reports).
The Office Bearers and Committee members can offer leadership by example but with membership input (that means you), everything becomes much more attainable. We do have some very dedicated members and their families who freely offer their talents and we are fortunate that this expertise is available.
However we have to work within legal, financial and government frameworks so situations arise when we have to commission external advice in those areas. Independent experts are essential to help us maintain our accountability and meet our legal requirements. We are never too proud or arrogant to ask for help. White Eagle advises in “The Path of the Soul” that,“Any man ready to learn must be clothed with humility, and be prepared to eat very simple food”.
So it is necessary to run our church in a business like way to survive. This coming year is going to be difficult for everyone due to the economic climate and I look to you all to join together, as a complete family unit with the office bearers and committee and do all that is possible to keep our church the happy, friendliest place to be.
I will end with a cautionary tale from our Avril in Australia.
Well it made me smile!
PUB SUES LOCAL CHURCH OVER LIGHTNING STRIKE
Drummond’s Bar began construction on an expansion of their
building to increase their business.
In response the local Church started a campaign to block the bar
from expanding with petitions and prayers. Work progressed right up until the week before the grand opening when lightning struck the bar and burned it to the ground!
After the bar burned to the ground by the lightning strike, the
Church folk were rather smug in their outlook, bragging about the“power of
prayer,” until the bar owner sued the church on the grounds that the church “was ultimately responsible for the demise of his building, either through direct or indirect actions or means.”
In its reply to the court, the Church vehemently denied all responsibility or any connection to the building’s demise.
The judge read through the plaintiff’s complaint and the defendant’s reply, and at the opening hearing he commented, “I don’t know how I’m going to decide this, but it appears from the paperwork that we have a bar owner who believes in the power of prayer and an entire church congregation that now does not!
It’s a very true saying, be careful what you pray for, you might
just get it!