We recently received this letter from Nickie Williams (Fairfield-Aliphington Uniting Church).
Last Sunday, I contacted my Minister with a very strange request: would she be able to come down to the roundabout on my street and lead a lament for two beautiful trees that were slated for destruction the next day?
My neighbours have worked tirelessly for months to save the trees with lots of letter writing, media connection, phone calls and so on. The journey was nearing its end and everyone was tired and sad.
And, so, I called in an ordained Minister to hold these people in this space. After she agreed, I felt the need to warn her that my neighbours are all very nice and good people, they are generally well-educated and well-travelled individuals… and are intentionally non-church goers. Indeed, the mood around here is of cynicism toward religion generally, and the Christian church specifically.
Into this space she bravely walked, approximately 20 people gathered…
I spoke with my neighbours after the “service” and they were amazed. They were amazed that someone saw a spiritual need in their journey, they were amazed that a Christian Minister actually showed up, they were amazed that the words of our liturgy fuelled an inspiration within them! Amazed and thankful.
My worldly-wise neighbours met Love in that space. A love that holds and lifts us up. We might call that God…
Thanks to Rev Alex Sangster for taking the time to follow up on my strange request. Thanks to God for being known to this neighbourhood at our time of need.