Friday, June 29, 2007

glimpses from the footscray church

our adopted church during our time in melbourne is in footscray. we've loved this congregation and all its diversity and the surrounding area brimming with the color and movement of immigrants and refugees. there seems to be alot of creative energy and connection happening among several families living in the neighborhood and attending the church. from the church's bulletin this is a sample of one of their many efforts to be a community in mission:

slow down

"the theme of today's service is "slowing down." one of the most urgent challenges for christians in the rich nations of the west is to reject the idolatry of the fast-paced, 'in-it-for-what-i-can-get' consumer culture that rules our society.

while this culture is powerfully alluring, it is also powerfully destructive. it is the consumer economy that is driving the climate change that threatens the planet. it is the consumer economy that drives the growing gap between rich and poor across the world.

consumerism and work habits play a major role in family breakdown, breakdown of community, depression and addictive behaviours. in short, it is bad for the world and it is bad for us.

jesus said, 'i came that you may have life and have it in abundance.' can we trust god enough to look for true life outside our consumer culture?"

as a group of christians, one way they are exploring this prevailing issue of consumerism is through "household covenants." this covenant covers savings & investment, debt, giving, environment, consumption, poverty & marginalisation, work & sabbath. they've based the covenant on some work done by folks in the u.s. on sabbath economics. see this website for more information - www.bcm-net.org. we are looking forward to bringing some of this material home to share with our family in lexington.
(sherry)

1 comment:

eliza said...

Yes!
As I was checking out BCM's website, I came across some of Ched Myers' writings. The first excerpt here, of the women arriving at the empty tomb, describes the insane hope Jesus' resurrection necessarily brings in face of the powers of this world. It gave me hope:

But there is one more scene, and upon it hinges the possibility of a non-imperial
future. "When they looked again, they saw that the stone had been rolled away"
(16:4). The verb "to see again" was used by Mark in his stories of the two blind men
(8:25; 10:51f). It represents his master metaphor for a faith that looks fearlessly at
the way things are, yet sees the way things can be. We might translate it literally: "to
re-vision." In Mark's Easter narrative the weary old story of the world, in which the
Powers always win and the poor always lose, is radically "revised." The great stone of
impediment has been removed.

And something I loved from another essay:

This “radical otherness” of the wilderness God, who refuses to be domesticated
under any regime or civilization, was expressed archetypally in the name revealed
famously to Moses in the burning bush: Yahweh—“I will be whoever I will be” (Ex
3:13-15).

I think God's gives me this "re-vision", and then I doubt, afraid of what He might ask of me or what others will think. But in the end, what does that matter? I guess it is better for me to lose a hand than for my whole body to end up in hell. My prayer for myself/us is renewal in the struggle and "re-vision" in the face of the idols of this society.