The Challenge Of Freedom

Francis Noordanus

The Challenges of Freedom.

Today was very special day for us as a church. How often do churches move from one worship venue to another? How often do churches move from a setting rented per part-day to one that is theirs 24/7? How often do churches begin a Sunday morning in one building and end in another? How often are church communities blessed almost simultaneously both by their old host landlord and their new one? I don't know but all this happened for us today and I am celebrating.

In moving to our new church venue we have moved into an abundance of space and time. We have also moved into an abundance of grace extended to us by the Parish of Aalst who own the building and are hiring it out to us.  As I take time to savour this and reflect on its wonder I am struck by the challenge of freedom.  Trinity has in my seven years always known boundaries and provisional arrangements.  What we had was a bit of freedom within limitations.  Those limitations are suddenly so expanded as to become insignificant.

Instead of thinking in day-parts our only constraints are the number of hours in a day and days in a week. Instead of lack of space ruling what we did and did not do we now have abundance and can manage it as we see best.

Food has been a minimal part of our life, but with a small kitchen of our own and an adjacent dining room we may prepare food and eat in freedom. Can't wait!

We now have bare walls that can be decorated. I have heard suggestions of coloured lighting, wall hangings, textured fabrics, and more. The walls cry out, 'cover us!'

That is certainly exciting but also challenging. With the constraints removed we now need to step up to the potential and exercise the freedom opened up to us. Our life needs to expand to fill out the opportunity. Freedom demands a response.

An obvious measure of this is building usage. Sundays can now be bigger and better but there must be usage between Sundays. This will require a change in thinking, even a paradigm shift that may not come overnight. I am particularly keen for our church home to be used for worship, prayer and praise as well as training and fellowship as often as possible.

This is a challenge I will be picking up with joy.