Church Potential

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One of Australia’s most celebrated authors Tim Winton said this about growing up in church.

“Churchgoing was my introduction to conscious living. Nowhere else was I exposed to the kind of self examination and reflective discipline that the faith of my childhood required. I’d be surprised if anyone at my boyhood church had read even a page of Tolstoy, but it seems to me now that the question that ate him so late in his life was the central issue for us, too. *What then must we do? Preoccupations of this sort may well have bubbled in the suburban life around us, but it’s fair to say they were not immediately evident. In retrospect we had more in common with the anarchists and Trots the state was so fearful of, for our loyalties were unfathomable to outsiders. We were reaching for something beyond the ordinary. Any striving impulse at school or in the sports clubs was largely a matter of surfaces, a competition for glory. Being a God-botherer marked you out. Even the word ‘glory’ meant something different. And strange as it might seem to a Brit or an American for whom churchgoing has always been respectable, religious life was like a childhood inoculation against social conformity” The Boy Behind The Curtain. p100

To live with your Heart in Mind means to live in conscious awareness of your connections (vertical and horizontal), your identity / direction and choices. Not all of us had the positive introduction into conscious living that Winton had, but many of us did. I doubt that comparisons to Trotsky would still work, but churches remain places of great potential for community life, to grow in your connections with others and develop your purpose.

When done in safety and warmth, with the great ancient stories being illuminated and young minds living in freedom to explore and conclude… few things are better able to inform us about What then must we do.

Dr Jonathan Andrews MAPS

Clinical Psychologist

*Italics are his

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