Today Lynne Dovey and I went to Queen Margaret College Assembly to hand over your centenary gift to them. The St Andrew’s mirror looked lovely on the stage. As I walked into the Hall three students were spontaneously and wholeheartedly admiring it.
One student, called Emma, was the IT ‘helper’ hidden behind the curtains throughout the assembly! She showed great skills in manipulating the powerpoint prior. She will go far in the IT career which she said she was contemplating.
I spoke briefly using part of the centennial reflection from the QMC centenary Gathering here at Pentecost. It hit the spot for at least one senior student who recognised her female superhero Captain Marvel in the presentation. The quality of listening however, I was pleased to note, was most marked when I talked about Shelagh, an ‘ordinary’ Canadian woman who made a difference among her friends and family as she loved them “fiercely and with abandon.” (The full reflection is on the 9 June Sunday Gathering post on the website)
This brief chance to speak to hundreds of young women reminded me many young people do not hear any kind of spiritual message, Christian or otherwise, these days. Young people are the largest age group of those ticking the ‘no religion’ box in the census. Where are they going to find out about the Big Stories that underpin their lives? How are they going to connect the stories shown on TV and the big screen with the spiritual journey all of them are on, sometimes without them knowing it. How will they know it’s important to be conscious of and work with that spiritual journey?
QMC girls hear those connections being made every week at their school. Who is telling the others? Just before my first Maundy Thursday service here a larger than expected group of younger than expected people gathered at the back of the church. It transpired there were the expected St Andrew’s attendees but the others were looking for a mindfulness course being run in the St Andrew’s Centre! I reflected afterwards that in the Maundy Thursday service we were practising a kind of mindfulness, but disguised by church ‘baggage’ so it wasn’t obvious to others.
The title of this e-news is a paraphrase of the old bible verse “How will they hear without a preacher?” As the significant people in many young peoples’ lives – your grandchildren and great grandchildren, you may be the only ‘preacher’ they hear. How can you tell them of significant and important truths without in fact being too ‘preachy’? Something to practice? If you enjoy being at St Andrew’s why wouldn’t you tell other people (younger than you and the same age) about it?
At the oral submission for the Abortion Legislation Bill we were complimented on our multi-opinion submission. Thank you to those who contributed. We also found out David Seymour is a baptised Presbyterian! He asked an interesting question for which my answer was based on separation (or not) of Church and State. Our submission for the Education (Pastoral Care) Amendment Bill goes in today – a joint effort between Graham Howell, Barrie Keenan and myself. Thank you for the opportunity to do this work with submissions. It has been stimulating and humbling.
On Sunday Fionnaigh McKenzie, with others, will lead the Gathering on a Parihaka theme. I will lead communion, then the AGM will follow in place of the congregational conversation. See you there!
To view the full e-news click on this link: https://mailchi.mp/6d57acf5dc42/this-weeks-newsletter-from-st-andrews-on-the-terrace-3757661