As it is naidoc week I should put a post on inclusiveness or the best Aboriginal faith sites I am aware of, something! But I’m choosing not to write anything, because my voice is truely unworthy during such a significant week.

I will say that I appreciate the strength of stories, my faith stories have great power, they are an important intergenerational teaching tool. It is one of the premises behind the Tuesday posts on engaging the 3’s and under in the RCL readings. For the same reasons  the stories of our first nation people, those they choose to share as well as the ones that they especially keep for themselves, have power. It is our loss if we fail to listen to these stories, both those over time, and the newer stories.

What I do feel lead to share this week is my thoughts on community, stories are a part of that, but so is song. This is where I really should begin. After a day of flights, it was another airport and another half day, at least till I was near home. I had gone through another security point, and I was feeling tense, when I heard a young women’s voice, with unmistakable Aussie accent, I looked around and there was a Mum singing to her preschooler. The smile immediately went back on my face, and I hope she saw it, and interpreted it favourably. I noticed that people ahead of me in my queue must have also heard it, as the general body language appeared to change. This Mum was creating a shared response, a feeling of community.

To me it was a typical playgroup moment. I wondered if they had learnt the song at a playgroup, christian or otherwise. It started me thinking of the very important place our playgroups have in creating community. Often a Child and Family ministry requires a playgroup, often it is seen as outreach or church building, and it definitely has that role, but often when measured against that role it fails. Very few playgroups flow through to increased church numbers. Though some congregations have found the “formulae” that makes it work. But what if we are measuring their success inadequately? What if the value they add is community, and the creation of the community beyond the church fence is the outcome. Does the presence of the playgroup add goodwill from our neighbours to us?

These were some of my thoughts as I whittled away the hours til I was home. My favourite place in the world. But for a moment I felt “home” in a strange country, for a moment by the familiar sound of an accent singing, and like that child I was transported to a feeling of security by a song, and I felt a part of a broader community, not alienated in it.


Wendy L


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