Can you tell me where the nearest Uniting Church is please?

It’s an interesting question to randomly ask people on the street. You find out just what kind of place we might have in a local community. Everything from “I don’t know” to “is that the one with the bells” to “oh yes, they are the ones who . . . .”

What makes church church?

I sat in the building in Ross. The wind whistled through the walls and windows. No longer a place of regular Sunday worship. Does the presence of a building mean that the church is still in the community? Can the building care for people when they are hurting? Can the building listen to story of our neighbours? Can the building celebrate a newborn?

What makes church church?

How does a community know when the church is present in a local community? Is it because there is a building, or is it because the people who are disciples of Christ are everyday in their everyday interactions demonstrating love, care, generosity, graciousness, forgiveness, justice.

Would we be any less the church if we gathered without a building, without particular furniture pieces, without our hymn books, and organs, and data projectors . . . .

What is it that God calls us to as God’s people really? How do we be people of God’s Kingdom? If we only ever exist to be in a building on a Sunday morning, are we true to the call of God? If we only ever serve the church in its sense of property identification, are we really serving God?

If we have property to care for, it is important to do so and do it well. But if our focus is that and nothing more, then I wonder who we are.   What is it that makes church church . . . really. What do you think?

You might like to ponder this in a small study group, or during worship sometime, or make use of social media to share some of your thoughts. You might like to prompt some wider thinking in our presbytery by sharing with us.

If you would like Denise to visit your congregation, to listen and share around leadership formation, contact us via the Presbytery Office 6331 9784 or Denise 0427 647 395 or denise.savage@victas.uca.org.au.