It was "Unichurch Together" yesterday, an annual event that briefed everyone in the congregation about what everyone else has been doing. Packed Matthews A theatre, lots of people, good stories from different churches, an extra-ordinary short sermon from Joshua on Romans 15 and cold chicken/pork roll with soft drinks that concluded this "together" event for an otherwise not very interactive congregation.
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One objective yesterday was clearly fund raising. Prior announcements about yesterday's event all advertised the fact that you can donate more during Unichurch Together, as funds are really needed to support the ever growing ministry on the campus. Felix and Victor both blogged about the church finance issue last week. We are behind, as always the case every year, but this year the case seems to be more urgent, to the point where MTS's have to do "quite a bit extra work" of fund raising.
I believe there are many generous givers around, and at the same time Unichurch/CBS are so blessed with many full-time ministers/trainees. Unfortunately in a church where the majority are poor students with little income, keeping ahead financially has not been something that we've experienced. With the plan to bring in more full-time staffs in the coming of years, I do hope that church wardens and treasurers would have alternative plans inside their hats. If we just keep on doing what we have done so far, I am not sure whether everything would work out...
Well. That's just the point of view of a conservative pessimistic utilitarian such as myself. I know we can all say that we trust on the grace of God, but...
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Did the miracle happen? Yes!!! Joshua gave his talk on Romans 15 in record breaking time!
However, I found that you do need to follow through the Romans series (especially the last few talks) in order to understand the unworthiness of Gentiles and how they should appreciate the work of Jewish Christians. It is just so easy for us to take the gospel message for granted, forgetting about the struggle at the beginning of Christianity.
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Another goal for yesterday's Unichurch Together is to sell Anna back to University Churches. We should have organised a cheer from FOCUS when Anna was introduced on the stage. Looking forward to see her back in action next year! Welcome back!
... and I don't think we are returning this guy back to CCC either. At least not yet :P
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Why did I say previously that the congregation is not very "interactive"? The fact is evidently clear during the lunch time! Right after the Unichurch Together meeting, each congregation formed their own little grouping, at their own corner of the Med lawn, having their own lunch and chatting to their own friends. There's MBF at that corner, ESF over there, Pelita all around the bench, AABC are all chatting over there.
Vivian and I think, well maybe we will try not to be anti-social, and started making our ways to the Pelita crowd. But something happened. We caught up with someone else. Blah blah blah. And we ended up chatting with the MBF people again.
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I had a chance to catch up with David from Community Bible Church during lunch time. He said that his wife is back in Harbin visiting relatives so he is pretty much by himself for the next few weeks.
"What about your son?" I asked.
"He is at a weekend away camp with his company."
"Oh. So he has started working?!"
David was my first point of contact when I came to Sydney nearly 10 years ago, as he was a relative of my parents' friend at the Gold Coast. I actually lived at his place for 2 nights when I was looking around for accommodation, so I know that he has a son - this 12 years old very Australianised Chinese kid whom I have never met again since.
And suddenly he has graduated from Uni and started working at the building right next to mine.
Man. Time flies...