St Margaret's News September 2015 - Page 8

Community Hub Its Tuckerbox program, providing cheap food to Canberra’s low-income citizens, is one of great popularity and utility, and its repute spills over into public knowledge of St Margaret’s. There is no sense of the two churches being in competition with one another, and there has indeed been spill-over of attendees, according to individual spiritual and liturgical orientation. (We even have members who weekly attend both Uniting and Anglican services.) Our partnership continues to flourish, and we are now in a position to serve the local community collectively. As alluded to earlier, 2015 has seen the arrival of new minister Chris Lockley to St Margaret’s. Chris serves as part-time minister for both St Margaret’s and St James in Curtin. Members of the two churches recently came together for a day of spiritual meditation. This relationship extends our outreach to the south (and, we hope, theirs to the north). Such ongoing cooperation has the potential to further unite our cause of Christian service to the community. If there is one major issue of a spiritual dimension which most threatens to corrupt and divide religious unity in contemporary society, it is that of inter-faith communication. As a centre of ecumenical faith, St Margaret’s has the power to collaborate not only with other denominations of the Christian faith, but to find an equal footing with people of other religions. In a post-9/11 world, where xenophobia seems ever close to the surface, inter-faith services seem an essential pathway to human unity. We have a responsibility to recognise the common humanity of those of other faiths. Beginning at the level of local community, reaching out not through verbal witness alone but by the example of practical service - particularly in cooperation with other congregations, and in the use of contemporary modes of communication - St Margaret’s, with its varied programs of social outreach, is in a position to unify and inspire the local community. From there, spreading outwards. From local, global. St Margaret's News 8 September 2015