I Am Glad You Did that!
Over the past 24 hours a number of events have come to me leading me to ponder the contribution of community and house churches to wellbeing.
- “I am glad you did that!” This was an e-mail response I received from a close 80 year old relative whom I had phoned earlier to wish her a “Happy Birthday”. I had said “I do not want to bother you because I thought you would be inundated with phone calls.”
“No,” she said, “You are one of only two people who have been in touch with me today.
- Last night our Home Study group met for its fortnightly gathering. We have been meeting for some 25 years and comprise members with religious orientation ranging from the deep Fundamentalist to the way out Progressive radical. Nevertheless we still find satisfaction in getting together.
- I met with a couple of Uniting Church ministers from neighbourhood churches. We revealed and accepted our doctrinal differences and in a frank and honest discussion were able to share in our passion that the Jesus way of unconditional love be proclaimed in our communities.
- A small column appeared in the Courier-Mail (page 20) of the June 15th 2018 issue.
“Faith links to Long Life”
“Being actively religious could add more than six years to your life, a study suggests.
Researchers believe the social aspect of a religious community could improve well-being, and said religious rules prohibited unhealthy behaviour and promoted positive activity among the faithful.
In the study, led by Ohio State University, psychologists examined obituaries. An analysis of national newspapers found those of religious faith lived for an average of 3.82 years longer once gender and marital status were considered,
One can argue about the statistical basis of this study but it raises the question. What is behind this?” Is it “God is being good to us, and never mind the heathen”?
Or, has it something to do with the community and family-type responsibility which arises from groups gathering with a common religious purpose. Does community come before doctrine?
I am inclined to think that in today’s 21st century environment it does. This is the ethos behind the Milpara concept of integration of congregations with their secular local communities and of the nurture of smaller sustainable groupings as house churches.
Let’s see what we can do to respond to the loneliness which so many of us can feel in today’s busy world.