I had a birthday recently. Not aparticularly big one, just a run of the mill affair.
As sometimes happens on birthdays, I got to reflecting on growing older. On this occasion, I pondered why when I occasionally catch a glimpse in the mirror and see a slightly balding, slightly overweight, almost middle-aged bloke looking back at me, do I not feel like that is me? Why do I still feel the same as I did when I was 25?
So I did what I always do when I’m stumped….I asked my folks. “When do you start to feel like your actual age?” was the question I posed them. Unhelpfully they replied “never, we still don’t”. The best advice they could offer was to go on feeling young for as long as possible. That’s the trouble with my parents….I want a simple answer, and they give me something to think about!
I guess that same thought might be worth pondering for churches and faith communities. What would it be like if we constantly thought of ourselves as young? Would our energy levels be different? Our creativity? Our flexibility and capacity to innovate? Our willingness to create new traditions and practices rather than only giving expression to the way it has always been?
Is the sense of being young about always being willing to learn new things, try new things, be new things?
Is the Uniting Church, at just over 30 years of age, still able to be young?