Saturday, November 21, 2009

open home open year opawa 2009

As I type an artist is chalking the outside of our Opawa building, giving concrete expression, on those concrete block walls, to the names of the Opawa family.

You see, in the church calendar, tomorrow is the last Sun/day of the church year. Being Baptist allows us to express this in our own, unique way; a certain freedom to play with the tradition in light of our context. Hence it becomes our open home, open year church service, in which we reflect back on the “church” year past. Including the light, life and colour that we as Opawa have sought to make public beyond the walls of the church (ie, the chalk!)

Open home open year works particularly well in a Southern Hemisphere, where so much of the year – school, university, clubs – ends at Christmas. It works even better at Opawa, where our annual church meeting is February. So at Open home, Open year, we celebrate the year past. Advent focuses us on Christmas and the Christ at the energising beginning and centre of the church story. We refresh with summer holidays and then, come February, we have a church meeting to face the year ahead.

A major event for Opawa through 2009 was the church building project. We are moving into the new office area in 10 days (cafe and toilets still under construction), so open home open year becomes a perfect opportunity both to thank God for building progress and to commission the new area and the ministry that will flow from it.

So tomorrow as part of our worship we will open the door and prayer walk the offices. Various stations allow people to pray. Here is the thanks and prayer walk instruction sheet we have created, which we hope communicate, enthuses and draws forth thanks and prayer. Open home, open year 2010. Thanks and prayer worship walk

Today as part of our open home, open year, we are asking you to prayerfully commission our new office area. We invite you to walk through each of the offices. Take time to discover what each room is for. Pause and pray for the people and activities. We ask you to walk thankfully, excitedly yet quietly, thus helping all of us to pray.

Today we are opening up part 1 of what is a 4 part project:
part 1 = new offices (with staff are moving in December 1-3)
part 2 = larger foyer and new cafe/kitchen (started, completed end of Feb 2010)
improved toilets, including disability access (started, completed end of Feb 2010)
ensuring a building built in the 1970s meets todays fire and safety standards (done)

If you would rather not walk, you are welcome to remain in the church, and simply pray through the sheet.

Steve, Lynne, Robyn, Paul, David

Senior pastor station: In this office the senior pastor will work, surrounded by couches and books. Their tasks including leading, preaching and pastor caring.

Pray: by sitting in the chairs. Pray for the new pastor (unknown) who will sit in that chair and for their spouse and children (if married and with family). Pray for the search committee, that God will guide and lead them. Pray that God’s grace will overflow into the gaps left by Steve, Lynne, Shannon and Kayli Anne

Copy room station: In this room will be the photocopier. Here the music will be printed, the newsletter folded, the insert collated.

Pray: with thanks for all those who give a behind the scenes hand to make Opawa happen. Pray by making a hand (tracing your hand) and thanking God for just one person at Opawa you see giving a hand.

Reception care: From here Robyn will work. She is the public face of the church. From here she warmly greets visitors and answers the phone.

Pray: by standing and considering the people who walk through the doors. Pray that they may experience God’s peace and love as they enter. Pray for those who use our foodbank.

Community ministry: In this room Paul as community ministry pastor could well work. So too could Steve Jaegar, our ministry leaders, bridge builders, plus 5 interns and community chaplains. Here they can pray, plan, prepare.

Pray: by writing on the map of Waltham. You are only allowed one word. What one thing do you want God to do in the streets around this church.

Kids room: As part of the building project, sky lights have been added the kids area. As you enter, give thanks for the improved light. You will find small groups of children. They are waiting for you, expecting you to pray for them.

Pray: by going to one of the kids. Stoop or kneeling to their level. Place your hand on their shoulder. Ask their name and then ask God to bless and grow them. Give thanks for those who shape these kids: Kidstime teachers, parents, all of us. Pray for them.

Other rooms:
Opawaho (resting) room: In here small groups will meet, pastoral listening will occur and planning groups will dream. On Sunday 10:30 am, Kidstime could well use this room. On Sunday, the growing number of kids at Grow might well gather.

Storage room: In here will be stored all the stuff that is used by Grow, espresso, Soak, 10:30 am, Advent, Christmas, Easter, Pentecost banners.

Management office: From here, gifts of administration will be at work. Accounts, bookings will happen. Here the replacements for David Smith will touch base – Church cleaner, Maintenance officer.

Posted by steve at 01:30 PM

No Comments

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.