Who is a ‘member’ ? The answer is anyone ! … anyone who , having joined our community or tasted what we offer wants to take a step further into the life of our community and to respond to the faith pledges that are at the heart of our ancient Christian church.
What does it mean to be a member of St Patrick’s parish? School enrolment is often the point at which this question arises; the answer to the question is a matter of discernment and faith. The real cornerstone of belonging to the parish is participation. Can’t I be a Christian without the need to participate or to go to Church? Good question – here are some points to consider:
• Church teaches us and our children a moral foundation. No Government or other institution has ever been able to provide this , neither will they ever be able to do so. I believe that Christianity still provides the moral foundation of many communities who think they may be more or less secular.
• We go to Church to ‘Worship’ God. Why do I need to ‘worship’?! … We ALL worship something if it’s not God it may be work, golf, drink, dodgy internet sites or looking in the mirror. The question is not why should I worship, the question is WHAT do I worship…?
• Church is the community of believers. In every walk of life from education to sport it is a ‘no brainer’ that it is far better to join with others in achieving anything in life. As the Africans say, “It takes a village to raise a child .” Church is the supporting community of the faith which works in harmony with our need for our own life and privacy at other times.
• We are so often frustrated when the truth is not respected in life. We need this truth to come out, to prevail against whatever is preventing it. We are called to ‘stand up for the truth’ at some point in life , in some way great or small. Church = standing up for the TRUTH …the truth of this world, our lives and the world to come . It is no coincidence that Jesus says, “I am the Way, the TRUTH and the life..” It simply can’t be done effectively from duvet land!
We are very nervous of commitment in modern societies built on consumerism and choice . One of the great tests of life is to hold onto the things that endure while letting go the things that never prevail … belonging to the faith community supports us in this journey.