Big Church Day
A regular article written by Phillip Jensen in his role as Dean of Sydney at St Andrew's Cathedral.
16th May 2008
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Next Sunday is our Big Church Day—the day when all our congregations get together. It is when we spend time with each other, thanking God for his past blessings and praying to him for our future.
God has been so kind to us in this last year. We have seen his hand at work in the lives of so many people. Our congregations and their ministries have continued to grow in spiritual strength and morale as well as numbers attending.
Yet the challenge before us to reach our city and world with the gospel of Jesus has never been greater. We need urgent prayer to our heavenly Father as we make our plans for the future.
So what happens on Big Church Day?
It is still a “Church Day” so we hear God's word read and expounded, and we pray and sing hymns as we encourage each other in the fellowship of God's family.
But it is the “Big” Church Day so we engage with more than our own congregation. We prayerfully consider our own congregation but we also engage with all the congregations and ministries of the Cathedral. And, even bigger, we hear of the Diocesan plans for the gospel outreach to our city and beyond.
It is the day when we hear from each of the congregations about their ministry—both their past year and their hopes for next year. This feeds our prayers for each other.
It is the day when we also hear about the Cathedral as a whole. Again, it is about last year and the plans for the coming months. There are so many exciting changes and developments in the Cathedral's ministry that it is sometimes hard to keep up with what is happening amongst us. Next Sunday at the Big Church Day we get to see the big picture.
It is the day where we see how our own personal ministry fits into the picture. We are all to serve Christ and his people—using the gifts that he has given us. The Big Church Day shows how our many partners in the gospel at the Cathedral are working together to build Christ's church and to make Christ known.
“… speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.” Ephesians. 4:15-16
How is the Big Church Day Organised?
Each of the congregations meets at their usual time. Some time will be given to talk and pray about the particular plans of that congregation.
From 2-4pm we all meet together to hear from each other and of our Cathedral plans.
Most of the congregations will be organising some meal break to assist people who have been in church in the morning or staying on to the evening.
The Big Church Day and Organizing the Cathedral
For those interested in the organization and administration of the Cathedral, the Big Church Day is also the day when we report on last year and plan for the future.
In the last year we have been introducing the new Constitution of the Cathedral. This will be explained briefly (full copies are available for any who want the details.) More importantly, some new elements of the constitution will be implemented.
For the first time we will be electing representatives of the new Cathedral Council. This Council will be comprised of representatives from each of the congregations to take some key responsibilities for the Cathedral's ministries. One representative will be elected at each congregational meeting on the day.
We will also be electing two members of our congregations to represent us in the diocesan Synod and one member to represent us on the Cathedral Chapter, at the combined meeting at 2pm.
The audited accounts for last year are available this week at the back of the Cathedral, and on the Big Church Day the treasurer will answer any questions you may have.
We also have time for discussion and input of ideas
Looking Forward to the Big Church Day
Next Sunday will be a great day for our life together as the Cathedral church. It is a big commitment from us all, as we come in the morning and stay onto the afternoon or as we come early in the afternoon and stay on for our evening congregation. But we can look forward to a spiritually exciting day together as we praise our God and pray for each other.