On Labour Day we went to the archaeological exhibition at the Arts Centre, which is part of the Christchurch Heritage Festival. Back in 2013 I briefly worked for the archaeological company that examined the Arts Centre precinct, so I knew something about the project, even though I worked at other sites around Christchurch, never the arts centre. The archaeological finds displayed at the exhibition painted an interesting portrait of life at the early university. It seems that learning, sports, and relaxation were equally pursued at the university. That would be expected—and yet the artefacts tell a slightly different tale than would be gleaned from the official publications of the university, or even the memories of staff and students.
In learning about the past a combination of sources is preferable. Not only do different sources provide different kinds of evidence, we also interact differently with words, objects, and pictures. I think that the Church has grasped that long ago. A church service is not only reading, preaching, singing, or sacramental action—it traditionally involves all of these. Through them we worship God, we apply God’s word to our lives and we live in community. However, church does not need to be limited to these elements. We can consider different ways of being and doing church. How else can we praise God and be formed by God and grow in community?
Late last month Lynette and Maurice Smith celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. Congratulations! They received greetings from the (former) Minister for Seniors, the Prime Minister, the Governor-General, and the Queen! Through their life they have also witnessed to God’s love. After all, their relationship got off to a good start when Maurice agreed to take Lynette to the cinema with her whole Sunday School class. Not only did it convince her how serious he was, but also that their relationship was never only a private matter between two people, but rather lived in the community.