If you were after a lively/entertaining read, please go to my earlier posts. The Sacrilicious one is my personal favourite. This post and the previous one were done in a hurry and are not particularly in depth or astute on my part. Interesting articles though…
This was an interesting article appearing in the Sydney Morning Herald yesterday, cashing in on the timeliness of Easter and current interest in Christianity due to the widespread celebration of this Christian festival. In the print edition of the paper, it appeared as a huge feature, headlining the News Review section for those familiar with the format of the weekend herald.
Highlights of the article below. For full text, follow this link.
‘JESUS asked his mates to stay with him, but they got pissed and fell asleep, the bloody bastards.” As an account of the disciples’ failure in the Garden of Gethsemane the night before Jesus was crucified, it may lack the poetry and majesty of the King James Bible. But the 22 street people in a dingy city basement get the point powerfully.
This rather loose Bible reading from Matthew 26 by a young church worker, Virginia Moebus, is part of a weekly gathering in Credo Cafe, run by Urban Seed in Melbourne, a Baptist Church outreach to homeless and drug-addicted city dwellers.
Most of these people would never set foot in church, but they come faithfully to the gathering, followed by the free lunch served every day. “People see it like their living room, especially if they are on the street. It’s somewhere they can come and sit down and be warm and safe,” Moebus says.
But it’s more than that.
It is solace, spiritual comfort, connection. They sing confidently during the service, accompanied by an extremely competent bongo drummer, and talk freely about the Bible reading.
They are part of an extraordinarily diverse and fast-growing Christian movement catering to the multitudes who reject the institutional church but want to follow its founder, Jesus Christ.
So far, so good. But wait and see what the venerable King Jensenite has to say on the matter…
At the 2004 Anglican general assembly, the Sydney Archbishop, Peter Jensen, spoke about reaching niche groups reluctant to go to church. “There’s a group of lawyers who meet every Tuesday evening in a Sydney cafe for Bible study,” he said. “They don’t know they’re Anglicans yet – we’ll tell them when the time comes.”
Before reading this article, I may have strongly disagreed with some of Jensen’s proclamations, but respected his considerable intellect and passion. Now I have been forced to have second thoughts…
OK, news values, here we come:
* Timeliness – Um, Easter
* Novelty – Whilst not an entirely novel idea (The early Christian church was started with small meetings around meals in people’s homes) this would still be considered by most as a pretty unusual way of worshipping
* Proximity – it’s from the Sydney Morning Herald and about what’s going on in Sydney. Voila.