West Baptist Church

A place of shelter, faith and laughter

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Thalia’s Top Five: #1 Shelter, Faith, Laughter; #2 Making Room

March 12th, 2010 by Thalia Kehoe Rowden

Each year I write a ‘Pastor’s Top Five’ for our Annual Report.  This year I thought I’d serialise it on the blog, so here are numbers 1 and 2, the things I am most grateful for in 2009 at West.

#1 Shelter, Faith, Laughter

Our identity as ‘a place of shelter, faith and laughter’ has come to mean more to me every month I am with you.

This year I have been profoundly grateful for how we have so actively welcomed new people in our community, and rallied around to support others outside, through the food cupboard, KRWest budgeting advice, babysitting, hospitality, prayer, and through supporting Spotswood Primary.

#2 Making Room

‘Making Room’ was our 2009 commitment to a life of hospitality, making room in our lives and homes and calendars for other people.

We started by being intentionally hospitable once a week in Lent, starting nice and easy: a cup of tea with a neighbour, lunch with a colleague, fish and chips on the beach with the household down the road.

This went so well that we used Lent to kick-start a longer-term practice of making room.  I have been so proud of us, West!  We’ve heard stories of relationships being strengthened, love being shown to strangers, neighbours going from strangers to friends, and it all adds up to changing the world, one meal at a time.

In 2010 this collective practice will be the foundation for everything else.  We really can change the world, starting with Spotswood, by making room for people in our lives – and we can’t make a lasting impact without it.

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