Statement from Ross shared on Sunday 2nd April 2023 at Coburg Uniting Church – at his Reception into Church Membership
My religious journey started in the late 60s/early 70s at a Presbyterian Sunday school in North Queensland. That’s when I first became acquainted with the teaching and practices of Jesus and was immediately captured by what I heard – love, peace, forgiveness, equality, inclusivity and mystery.
But over the following few years began several decades of being totally disenchanted with how Christianity was being taught and practiced – dogma, rules, punishment, retribution and exclusion were the messages from so-called Christian individuals, groups, institutions and nations. The question I found myself asking time and time again was; is that what Jesus would have done?
So I left Christian practice behind. But I didn’t leave behind the Mystery and a deep desire for meaning.
Skip forward to 18 months ago when Janice came home talking of a notice she’d seen outside Coburg Uniting Church, the content of which closely reflected our beliefs and values. Next we checked out the website and it was confirmed. So we came to church and have been doing so almost every Sunday since. I was welcomed and included from the first moment and in a short time felt part of this congregation and community.
And it’s been great:
- Starting with Ron’s messages that are full of those things I had believed Jesus emphasised – love, peace, forgiveness, equality and mystery. And like Jesus, Ron also challenges us to be our best self and to take action – within and without.
- That also happens in the monthly Men’s Group, in which over the past few months we’ve been discussing a Richard Rohr book – insightful, challenging stuff which also calls us to action.
- It’s also obvious this is a committed, very socially connected church community, but it’s also of the wider community. It’s inclusive, welcoming and committed to righting the inequities in our world, including the devastation caused by climate change.
- Friendships have grown quickly.
- And I love the music.
I am very grateful for having found this place. In this church I am starting to think of myself as a Christian. My soul has come home.
And that’s why I’m taking the formal step of becoming a member of Coburg Uniting. For me it’s both a personal acknowledgement of how much I’ve come to value being part of this Church and its community/congregation and it’s also a commitment to growing my spiritual practice, to taking action and to doing what I can to help the Church achieve its Mission and Goals.