Tonight we will witness the ordination of two people as Deacons in the church. What is the point of church when it (along with most organisations) is treated with suspicion and even hostility in these current days?

The brilliant Australian author, Tim Winton, describes himself as a Christian although he also is wary of the organizational church. Yet he writes brilliantly of his church experience as a young person.* He describes Australian society of the time as “hardy, incurious and unreflective” and although the church was made up of “poorly educated cardigan wearers” with narrow experience of life “they were bearers of more culture and civilization and had their sights set higher” than most of the elite of society that he was later to meet. Winton rightly calls the church a counterculture in which he learned liberating and civilizing teachings lifting him beyond tribalism and into the biggest questions of life. “We were reaching for something beyond the ordinary”.

That is at least as true today as it was then. Today, Australia is captured by an unthinking hedonism. Can you believe that you are part of God’s gift to Australia? That this church has a deep role to play in calling a lost world into life that is deep, true and profoundly human? Will you commit yourself to, in Jesus, reach beyond the ordinary and into eternity?

No wonder Alex and Michelle have put themselves forward for ordination into this church.

*The Boy Behind the Curtain (see chapter 7)