Lo, Here is Fellowship
As a follow up to last week’s blog on Fellowship Day, I found a companion piece to the 1978 service that I mentioned. This piece appeared in the July 1978 issue of Women at Work, the newsletter of Australian Church Women (ACW). It was written to the members of ACW by Doris Mitchell, Secretary of the 1977–79 NSW National Executive, before she departed overseas for several weeks. [One day soon, we’ll be able to do this too.]
The message that Doris left with her ACW friends underscores the heart of the Gospel. May many more come to know the truth of this message, that Jesus alone is the Way.
‘In July many, if not all, readers of "Women at Work" will find themselves involved in the observance of Fellowship Day—one of our two ACW "Special Days" when many women in city, suburban and country centres worship, think and plan together. What do we mean by this word 'fellowship' which we recall was one of the distinguishing marks of the early Church? It is not just 'togetherness', not even 'friendliness', but something more – a sharing, a sense of participation in a common purpose.
‘The theme of this year's Fellowship Day Service, "The Way Ahead", is intended to mark a forward step from last year's themes. On Fellowship Day in 1977, we were bidden to "Break Down the Walls"; on World Community Day we turned our thoughts to "Building Bridges"; so when we have removed the barriers and crossed the bridges, what next? We cannot stop; we look about for the way ahead.
‘Is there just one way, or are there many, claiming our attention, attracting our interest? We may be inclined to ask the question Philip put so long ago – "Lord … how can we know the way?" How glad we should be that he asked that question, when we recall the reply – "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life."
Photo ©Chris Guy CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
‘Someone has written:
"Without the Way, there is no going;
Without the Truth, there is no knowing;
Without the Life, there is no Living."
‘So we may follow the way ahead, bound together in this fellowship of those who, as they go, seek to know the truth which sets them free, and enjoy the life, which has about it the quality of things eternal.
‘Because I shall be overseas for several weeks in July and August, I shall miss the opportunity of sharing Fellowship Day; but I shall certainly be thinking of ACW friends in many places. My greetings come to you in the words of an old Irish Blessing –
"May the road run up to meet you;
may the wind be always at your back;
may the sun shine warm upon you,
and may God hold you in the palm of His hand."
Doris M. Mitchell.’
I trust that you will be able to share the 2021 Fellowship Day Service, either in person or online at our ACW website.