|Index of Articles
An open door
|How can the church be relevant and real today? More pointedly how can the Body of Christ collectively demonstrate the reality of the living Lord Jesus to a world that largely pays little or no attention to institutional church, to a world that sees the church harbouring paedophiles or wrapped up in its own self-serving issues. That's a question that constantly challenges me as I work in the community of Diamond Creek on the fringe of north-eastern Metropolitan Melbourne.
|Gavin Ward is Associate Minister in the Anglican Parish of Diamond Creek, VIC
|In order to work towards this challenge, I have keenly worked on a number of activities and events over the past few years including the development of the "Live Well" programme, also combining with other local churches in organising ecumenical Carols, Easter and other celebrations including a very successful CFA thank you and acknowledgement service following the bushfires of January 2003.
|Recently, I have been working hard to establish good relationships with local Councillors and, together with other local ministers and pastors, have been praying for an opening to the leadership of the local Council with a view to praying with and for them.
|It was at a mid-year Rotary function that a Councillor friend introduced me to the Deputy CEO of the Council saying: "I think you two may have some things in common." After only a brief conversation, we discovered that we were both Christians and we set up a meeting. At our first meeting, attended by other ministers who had also been keen to make this contact, the Deputy CEO advised us (with tears in her eyes) that she had been praying for 3 years for God to provide her with a natural contact into the local Churches in order to seek their assistance in praying for the Council and the local Community. This was an amazing answer to our, and her, prayers
|The result is that we now meet on a monthly basis as the collective Body of Christ, in the council offices, with senior managers from the Council and other senior staff. There are nearly 10 churches represented and we receive a briefing from the Council staff and the Mayor on key issues of concern and we then pray for about an hour, committing the Council, the Council staff and our local Community to God and His work.
|Some outstanding results have been:
|I continue to wait with great expectation for what God may do next as we continue to demonstrate the reality of the living Lord Jesus to the world in which we live and I to search for the next connection to be made for the gospel.
|Index of Articles