Partnership is one of the great privileges of God’s people. We are not called to be alone but to be in partnership with each other. But what is more – the partnership we have with each other is a partnership with God.
The content of our partnership is the Gospel. We are called into partnership by the gospel. We live in the partnership of the Gospel. And our common endeavour is the proclamation and advancement of the Gospel.
There are some activities that we are all involved in. We are all to live in obedience to the Gospel. We are all to love one another, not growing weary in good works but doing good to all people especially the household of faith. We can all pray for the Gospel’s advancement – for those who preach and those who listen to it.
However, God has also given us various gifts, that each of us may make our distinctive contribution in the Gospel. For some it is in leadership and for others it is in doing acts of mercy, for some it is in speaking and for others it is in serving.
Around the Cathedral there are all manner of Christian people serving in a multitude of ways. There are the tour guides who welcome our visitors, the Sunday School teachers, the choir members, the cleaners, those who help in the office work or in the bookshop, and the many who prepare and serve food. Many exercise a special ministry of intercessory prayer and encouragement. Others welcome people to our gatherings, ushering them to their pews and providing for them the welcome of Christian fellowship that expresses God’s welcome to all who come to Him.
Some people are appointed to “official” ministries within the Cathedral. There are the Canons of the Cathedral chapter, our Cathedral Wardens, and various staff members who are paid for their different ministries.
Whenever we have a large and/or formal occasion – such as on last Sunday’s “Day of Mourning and Reflection” – the wealth of Christian service and gospel partnership is demonstrated in the Cathedral congregations. So many people quickly and without fuss, joined in helping to make sure that Christ is honoured and our visitors are cared for appropriately. Thanks are due to all who participated – cleaning and setting up the building, welcoming the visitors with sprigs of wattle, providing the refreshments, leading in prayer and in music, ushering and talking to our visitors, caring for visitors’ children.
Without this partnership in the Gospel, it is hard to imagine how we would be able to commend Christ from the Cathedral to the city of Sydney and beyond.
On February 12th, we are holding a Partnership Conference when we will explore together how we can best express our common commitment to the gospel through the ministry of the Cathedral. Details of this day are on the back of the Courier. It is an important day for all the congregation members to attend, for we all have something to contribute to the common good.
It is necessary to build our congregational fellowship and partnership alongside our responsibilities as a Cathedral to minister to the city and the Diocese. I do hope you will be able to attend on February 12th.