Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Pic a Day Advent #picadayadvent VISION

   Formerly the hatted 'Bacchus' restaurant, this is the interior of the Methodist Central Mission building in King St, Newcastle which is now known as 'Central' and is a craft Matilda Bay Brewery Pub with beer set up, taps and a pub/restaurant space that's going well by early reports from the co-owner today!!
   I went to check it out... I was telling him about the heritage listed mezzanine rail, the former Presbytery Youth Workers Office upstairs overlooking the old 'Big Al's' and the "over my dead body" attitude of many congregational leaders at the time it's original lease or sale was mooted 'again.'
   We are in the grip of a 'once in 500 years' societal shift confronting the church with the reality that God's mission is alive and well in the world and we are invited to join. It's just that many of the current forms of what it means to 'be church' are not where the action is if we are to together discover the identity of Christ among us!! These pics speak to me of VISION because they tap alive, limping along, repurposed and yet remaining work to be done on what the future holds for this space and for the church... this space has a clear vision for hospitality through food and beverages, entertainment [mezzanine floor band is planned for NYE] What is our vision, ethos or what are the values by which we seek to be known or to become? VISION
   The vision for this building had been vital for many decades and great things were done using this space... The idea became one of resourcing new forms of inner city ministry... and I'm not across all the details but I do know the energy of those most inspired by that was a little punctured by the time it came about. That and sometimes groups that champion a new idea are not always unified behind a direction when the project moves from advocacy to actuality!!
   Many years of inner city ministry, through more than one persons efforts, demonstrated that it was a tough task but that possibilities existed... I suspect we need two things for the future... more grassroots people with energy for the 'new' and a wider buy in from the region that this is needed and requires different resourcing, structures and support to make it happen!!

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