Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Dragged back to the past

I was recently in Ashfield, NSW on business: there are a few government departments with offices there where I had meeetings.

Ashfield has many faded memories for me. I attended Ashfield Presbyterian Church while Peter Hastie was its minister (I'd visited both the local Anglican and Baptist churches, but passed them by).

Peter was a little too Presbyterian for me, but I found him sharply stimulating, godly and supportive in every way. He encouraged me to convene a prayer meeting that we held before our main Sunday service. It was attended by a few regulars, including Peter himself from time to time; but I knew he would be flat out most mornings getting the service organised.

I used to wonder, from the ignorance of singleness, why few of the elders or others holding office attended the prayer meeting. Of course, now that I too have a family, I realise just how busy Sunday mornings are before church. No leisurely rise, listen to ABC FM or a CD, have a quiet breakfast, then walk to church now!

Over the few years I was part of that church I was involved in some very congenial home groups. One was hosted by a pair of elderly sisters (if you frequented the church in decades past you'd probably know them), who were generous of spirit and warm company for our small study group. I used to routinely give a lift to a friend from when we were both at Randwick Presbyterian church; she was living locally while doing a BA at Sydney University.

During my time there we undertook some exciting property work to improve our buildings. I think we used the architects Noel Bell and Ridley Smith. I had a role on the Committee of Management during this period that I found both worthwhile and demanding: but more my style than the heights of eldership!

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