Belinda Groves – 18 June 2017

Our church review is underway and as we begin by evaluating what we are doing in ministry or could be doing, the deacons have asked some people to share a story – either about what they appreciate about CBC or something they have seen elsewhere which could work here. Janelle Lamont was the first to share last weekend – but as some of us missed it – here is her story!

Belinda

When someone asks me where I go to church, I start by describing its location. Then I describe it like this…. “When you walk into the church building it is like stepping back in time… but then you are brought right back to the present with the message.”

Richard and I started coming to worship here in late 2004, but I had had several earlier contacts with people from Canberra Baptist Church at Ladies Meetings, Baptists Today and Sunday@Seven. To have a place to discuss and to hear others who have spent time and energy wrestling with how our Christian faith could apply and be relevant to our world was very significant to me.

So here are the things that I value about this church:

FREEDOM: freedom to think, to discuss, to not have answers, to have doubts, to ask questions, to wrestle together with issues that could divide. To live with grey issues – I don’t mean hair colour- although that mostly brings wisdom, in my experience! I mean those issues that haven’t got a neat and tidy traditional “Christian” answer. To look afresh and unpack what I was taught as a child. To have the Bible opened up in new ways.

PREACHING and WORSHIP: Worship here is thoughtful, ordered, meaningful, contemplative and relevant. Music enhances the worship with well-chosen hymns and contemporary songs. My brother described it as “No wasted words”. I agree.

 THE WELCOME: Both Linley and Merilyn were very significant in helping us feel welcome here and I am grateful to them for their consistency in this area. I am sure we aren’t the only ones who have experienced their genuine and caring welcome. I encourage all of us to be welcomers – not just to join the roster – but for all of us to look out for newcomers and people on their own. It makes such a difference to newcomers to feel like they matter.

AND THE WELCOME CONTINUES: Thirteen years on, we can say we feel part of this church. We are grateful for this fellowship, for this church community, for people who inspire us to live a life that Jesus would want us to live.

To feel welcome; to worship in a thoughtful, ordered and meaningful way; and to join others in the faith journey who are willing to question, think through issues, see social justice as important and encourage a faith that holds freedom and love as essential. I am proud and grateful to be part of this church!

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