Monday, September 26, 2011

We ARE Robertson-Wesley

How do we bring the story of Robertson-Wesley alive?? By gathering the people and giving them an opportunity to share their faith story. The stewardship theme for this year is "We ARE Robertson-Wesley" for we know and we truly believe that each person who enters this building adds their own flavour, their own colour, their own take to the story of our congregation.

This truly is the most diverse congregation I have ever served! Every day of the week we encounter and engage with people who have a long history with this congregation, people who were married here, people who saw our webpage or our facebook page and decided to drop by, people who have attended various musical events, people who have joined us for our community dinner or who have dropped by for a bag lunch. Someone commented the other day that there is never a time when you are alone in the church except in the wee hours of the morning. The reality is that we are so many things to so many people and it is part of our uniqueness.

The other night we hosted a gathering in Memorial Hall to celebrate all the gifts that people offer here at R-W. As we feasted together, we shared stories about how we came to believe, we shared stories of how R-W has played a role in our faith journey.

The highlight of the evening was when we challenged the table groups to come up with a 6 word story that answered the statement "Robertson-Wesley is...." This was a creative writing exercise and I must warn you that several groups took poetic license in this activity. Here are some of the stories that were shared:

Robertson-Wesley is:
Working community that projects Christian message.
Family home, accepting beliefs, taking risks!
R-W is an unfinished story.
People caring, accepting love, sharing, welcoming.
Warm-welcoming, worshiping,working and caring community.
People of compassion, service and faith.
Loving, Caring, Architecturally Historical, Music, Mosaic
R-W is church, spirited community support, ourselves, outreach worship
We're a spiritual community of support
R-W is an acepting community family growing in spirit and beliefs

People generally feel at home here at R-W, the feel welcomed no matter what their background or approach in life. People are willing to help and feel that they are making a difference in the community and the world. We are a caring community and we seek justice in our world for all. This is the place where we feast together, we worship together, we work together, we walk together, we cry together and we laugh together.

As Keri Wehlander puts it, "We are witnesses and storytellers; we are part of the unfolding tale of faith. Precious words and sacred memories are carried by every one of us...When we risk spinning these yarns, when we listen and speak, when we carefully gather these fragments up...we discover that there is good news all over again!" (Joy is our Banquet, Etobicoke: The United Church Publishing House, 1996, p. 16)

For those of you who missed this evening, we invite you to join us on Sunday Oct 16th after church for our second gathering and celebration of "We ARE Robertson-Wesley".

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