A year already? Seriously?! Here are the main points:
- Carols by Candle-light 2011. We went with a local DJ. We played versions of carols that were funky or country, and everyone seemed to vibe along. We had our Friday night kids up front to karaoke some songs, and they hammed it up for a dramatic reading of “The Stable that Bob Built.” Sal’s sister, Jenny de Vries did an excellent mime for “Mary did you know.” People were well-blessed. A summary comment was, “we never have this sort of thing in our neighborhood – it’s just so real and human.” Yeahhh!
- Cheers 13 keeps praying and waiting on God, to know when and how to respond to the needs in the neighborhood.
- Cheers 24 keeps meeting to keep us grounded in Scripture so we stay inspired and on track.
- Family Camp again a wonderful boost for local families. This year’s theme was “Handling the Animal within.” Taking sin seriously, some family management systems and real reasons for hope for us all. Everyone was really appreciative of the material presented, and the time with each other do practice it. 🙂
- BG Residents Association came out of storage at the last AGM, taken on by a few of our Cheers people, but not me as Chair (yay!) I hope they haven’t bitten off too much to chew, but it’s their concern now. I’m still a member of the BGRA.
- The local school problems continue – so bad are the frustration levels that the principal has been assaulted more than once by frustrated parents. It continues from bad to worse, as feared.
- We moved our kids out of there at the start of the year, and put them in the other local school – a Catholic school with a behavior management regime much more like ours. And whaddya know, the whole tone of the place is much more calm, genuinely enthusiastic, and everyone is actively learning. (Again totally vindicates what we were saying for years at the other school.) It’s such a relief to know our kids are in a growing atmosphere now.
- The developers have showed no interest in us, or the residents association, for two years now. I guess they have their contract and are focussed on the new side of the development not the old section. Perhaps my fight with the school has done some damage, I don’t know. But I have no energy to pursue them anyway.
– Looking back, I see a pattern in the history: it seems the “powers” do what they want, with or without us. So the locals have withdrawn. It seems the grief and pain it costs to try, is not worth the benefits. The only activities that remain now are relational – basically Cheers 13, and 24, and person-level efforts of love that arise out of that.
- Banksia Baptist is interested in chatting with Woodvale Baptist and Cheers, about possible collaborations moving forward. All three groups are keen to do this, but haven’t met as yet.
We are in a lull at the moment. Becalmed. Flat. Perhaps it is recovery. Perhaps it is to make us wait for the next wave of the Spirit. Perhaps we need to rethink. Whatever it is, pray we don’t miss it.