Drummond Hill Newsletter, June 1, 2022
Wednesday Meditation (Luke 10:23,24)
Then turning to the disciples, Jesus said to them privately, ‘Blessed are the eyes that see what you see! For I tell you that many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, but did not see it, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it.’
What did the disciples see that Jesus blessed them with this sentence? They saw something that many prophets and kings could not see and hear. Jesus was speaking with them after they returned to him with joy. They told Jesus that even the demons submitted to them in the name of Jesus. The time of salvation indeed became visible to the disciples because the evil powers in the world came under Jesus.
To whom would Jesus say the very same thing today? It is one thing to know that Jesus blessed his disciples for having seen the demons submitting in the name of Jesus, it is another thing to figure out who in today sees today’s demons submitting to Jesus. Of course, many Christians who heal in the name of Jesus say that they confront the evil powers and are seeing miraculous powers. For the rest of us, we understand the primary task of those seventy who returned to Jesus was to bring the news, “The kingdom of God has come near to you.” As bearers of this good news, they witnessed the demons submitting.
It is a conundrum for today’s Christians when bringing this good news no longer brings any response from people we meet. Also living after the resurrection and ascension of Jesus, the good news we bring to the world is no longer that the kingdom of God has come near, but that the kingdom of God has come to the world in Christ Jesus and Christ will return in fullness in due time. In this way, the question for us is more about how we tell the story that the kingdom of God has come to the world and that since baptism, we enjoy the presence of living Christ as we await the full return of Christ.
In the meantime, we can share with the world what our eyes have seen, the presence of Christ in our midst where demons did and are continuing to submit in the name of Jesus. In our sharing of the good news of the presence of Christ, some of those whom we encounter openly welcome us into their midst and are able to partake in Christ’s presence with us. This is what we see and share with the world to proclaim God’s reign in the world today.
Drummond Hill 3.0
A new worshipping community: Hot and Spicy
Last week, we discussed three things we will do. Today, our topic is to think about the first of those three things. The very first step is to gather younger people. The question is: how do we get them together? A good question, indeed! Like the parable in the Gospels, we set up a party and invite guests. We will be clear what this party is about. It is to meet one another and see if any guests are interested in working with us in a new worshipping community.
When we are setting up the list of guests, we begin with those whom we know. These are people in the younger age group who are listed in our address book. They will make the list first. Then, the second group on the list will be those who are loosely connected to us through familial or friendship relationships to ones in our congregation. The third group will be those who have marginal relationships with us and are curious about what we do.
These three groups of people will be invited to our first party. Yes, you heard it right. It is a party, fun and remarkable gathering. So they are coming to an Agape meal put on behalf of Christ. It is Christ who calls the party. We as his servants go to the people on the list dutifully to bring invitations.
One thing to remember is that many will give us reasons as to why they will not be coming to this party. Just like a farmer who bought a cow or a man who married and needed to do things, there will be many who will decline. According to the Scripture, these excuses give us reason to reach out to those who are not on our list. We will reach out and try to find those who are more than willing to come to the party.
A few things to know
Gathering around the table is a real sacred event. In this case ‘sacred’ means we are doing it for a special purpose of glorifying and enjoying God. I know how we get stuck on “glorifying” and think of very solemn and sombre events. But “glorifying” God is doing something that brings joy to God. When we glorify, God is delighted. God is delighted when our hearts are full of joy before God. As David danced like a child, we will be like children in fullness of happiness, enjoying God to the full.
To be hot and spicy, we will enjoy hot and spicy food as well as become people who are full of life and bring those playful elements to everything we do.
Next week we will explain to you what we will do when we get together for this 1st party.
New Direction: A congregational meeting, June 26
The session is calling a congregational meeting for Sunday, June 26. It will be part of our regular Sunday worship.
The resolution from the session:
- That the Drummond Hill Presbyterian Church downsize by keeping the 1886 building, containing the sanctuary, basement and all the contents therein;
- That the congregation approve in principle the building of an all purpose use hall for its use at the current manse site;
- That the current church hall and education wing be replaced by parking; And that we find a buyer for the lower parking (a property south of Buckner Pl.)
This suggestion is coming to the congregation after discussing deeply about what will sustain the congregation for the future. We have known for a long time that we cannot sustain our current way of being. The declining membership has not been reversed in the current format. The traditional worship and activities we have enjoyed are still spiritually necessary for us, but are not bringing us new people in numbers that we need.
Our hope is to be the church that keeps the old and the new in the tension. Our rich faith heritage and tradition can continue if we are able to partner it with the new and bold faith initiatives. This bold and new faith community, as part of DH will open the church to people who would have never considered our way of being a traditionally and culturally vibrant church. Also time is right to begin inviting people who are moving to Niagara Falls and participate with us in starting this new community. These newcomers will find their place of worship and of spiritual centre when they are able to contribute from the beginning something new together, as they learn to become inheritors of the rich faith heritage.
What about the cost? How much will it cost? Should we not explore other options like renovation? These are all good questions to ask. One thing we have discovered is that our decision needs to be based on our needs rather than what we think we should keep. Also our needs ought to be based on what we need today and the next few years. Renovating will not change our needs. In the meantime, maintenance costs keep on increasing beyond our abilities to pay.
If our needs are to have traditional worship and current programs alone, we would not need a new hall. However, if we need to be here for a long time, then, we certainly require a multipurpose hall to add a new faith community to our traditional one.
Hot and Spice: Friday, June 24 at 5:30 pm
and what is heard comes through the word of Christ.