Winter can often be dreary and cold, and people just want to hunker down and wait until things warm up. But here at Aintree Micro Church we’re trying to utilise these cooler months to grow deeper in relationships of love and care with some of our neighbours.
We’ve been inviting neighbours over to hang out and watch the footy, or rugging up and getting a local family around and lighting the fire pit and pizza oven at home one evening.
None of these things are grand events, and most are not particularly well thought out or forward planned either… they tend to be rather spontaneous, just inviting others to do the normal things that we’d be doing anyway. But, I’ve noticed that there is usually something that is common in these ordinary activities: food and drink.
Whether it is a meal together at the restaurant, or drinks at the local wine bar, or whether it’s just a quickly packed sandwich and fruit for when we’re out bush walking, or a bag of salt and vinegar chips in the garage while we watch the footy, food and drink seems to creep its way in to pretty much everything we do.
And when it does, our friends stay longer, the conversation becomes deeper, and people open up and begin to share more vulnerably about their lives and what is going on for them right now. It’s a wonderful privilege!
We have begun writing prayers and liturgies for such ordinary occasions as these — table liturgies, prayers for sitting in the sunshine, prayers for going on a hike, or standing on top of a mountain.
Our Aintree Micro Church has also been moved and challenged by recent data releases on the state of Australia’s environment.
This story is written by Jono Ingram, a Placemaker and Micro Church leader in the community of Aintree, on the western outskirts of Melbourne.