In the last six months the whole world has experienced the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic. Many of our daily practices have had to change, and at times we have had to question what is absolutely necessary, and what can we forgo. The church too is having to evaluate what we do and why we do it. In many ways the circumstances created by the pandemic are giving us an opportunity to pause and thoughtfully shape how to be a community of faith in today’s world.
VISIONS OF CHURCH
Some religious leaders once came to Jesus and asked him why he hung out with the non-religious people who they considered to be sinful. Jesus replied, the healthy don’t need a doctor but the sick do. Jesus wasn’t calling the religious people healthy, but was indicating that he would give his attention to those who realised they needed help.
ONE VISION OF CHURCH TODAY is a group of people, giving attention to Jesus, believing that he can help us become more healthy. Sometimes the church has appeared like a club for people who have got it together, but what Jesus says indicates something more messy, a people learning a different way together.
Some religious leaders came to Jesus and asked him for a spiritual sign to prove his identity. He challenged them that they had some idea of the weather by the color of the sky, yet they had no idea how to read the signs in society that all was not well.
ONE VISION OF CHURCH TODAY is a community of people who recognise that there are worrying signs in the world today, political polarisation, racial and cultural divisions as well as signs in nature and our climate. Faith is not just about a personal peace. We ask Jesus to help us live together in a way that responds to these challenges in our relationships with people and the planet as a whole.
ABOUT ST JAMES THE LESS CHURCH
ST JAMES-THE-LESS is sometimes referred to as the “less Anglican” church. The community that gather here is known for being informal and fairly flexible in it’s practice of the traditions handed down from our Anglican communion. As the former pastor used to say “Welcome to Saint James-the-Less where anything can happen and frequently does.”
PLEASE CONNECT A website doesn’t really expose you to what a church is like, but what’s here can give you some insight into some of what we aspire to. You’re welcome to visit or give us a call and arrange an opportunity to meet Jon, our pastor, who can tell you a bit about us in person.
CHURCH IS COMMUNITY In the scriptures we read of a vibrant community of people trying to figure out how to follow in the way of Jesus, who they believed was the messiah pointed to through the whole history of their journey with God. They believed that Jesus had died for them, and incredibly, had been resurrected from the dead. The different communities that sprung up had all kinds of problems, that we still encounter in churches to this day. One of the reasons that scripture is still helpful for us today is that it is a record of how God spoke to that community who were learning to navigate these problems and live more in the way of Jesus.
One of the things we do as a community is regularly let the scriptures speak to us about common heart issues, and in our community support one another as we walk out our life of faith.
Church is not a gathering on a Sunday morning, although that is one expression. We have an online gathering that meets through the week to share together life, read the scriptures and pray, as well as other times that people get together. Life is busy, and we’re not trying to create an alternative as a church club. Our vision is for people to experience Gods transforming love in a way that impacts all their lives.
FAITH FOR LIFE
Our church gathering is not the focus of our faith, that would make church a place separate from the rest of our lives. However, Gods intention for the church was that in every way that it connected, it would equip and send people into each area of their lives, to partner with Jesus and to invite people to join in His way.