A community in conversation Reverend Andrew Manning

Photo: tania sandberg Reverend Andrew Manning
Photo: tania sandberg Reverend Andrew Manning

AT this time of the year I feel as though I have a whole lot of novels open at the first chapter, (for those who are more into TV - it’s like starting to watch four different “soapies” at the same time), and as I read each one, I meet some of the characters and am introduced to the main plot or possibly just the context, but have not yet had the chance to formulate any solid opinions around what I am reading, and reading multiple books tends to cause me to get the different books and characters mixed up.

At this point I am raising questions and dealing with my prejudices and prior understandings with only a shallow grasp of the story unfolding. I haven’t quite figured 2017 out yet, even though I am well into the first chapter of all the things that I am involved with.

The result is a sense of disquiet, but a hopeful disquiet, a stirring within, for there is still a lot of book to read. Unlike in a novel where I am not a participant in the events and the story simply influences my life - in our real lives we are a central part of the story, we have great influence over every character in our lives and over every situation.

At this early stage of the year we have the opportunity to become a positive character who will influence the whole story by the way that we interact with others. To bring about change in the world we first have to change our attitudes and our conversations both for ourselves and within the community.

In our lives, we decide how we are written into the narrative. Every story has a hero and a villain, in life you get to choose which part you play. Heroes and villains come from the rich and the poor, the educated and the uneducated, it is not their status in society that determines their role, but their attitude.

The hero lives for others while the villain lives for him or herself. The hero looks within and finds the best in themselves and offers that to the world.

I hope that you will join me as I seek to find my best to offer to the world. As I seek to allow my heart to be changed and live as a community builder. We need to be contributors to our own lives and not victims or spectators.

We need to engage with the issues and work at them. Just like going to gym and building muscle requires a little hard work, so building a positive frame of mind and a positive community requires exercise. Just as a body will grow the muscles that you use, so your attitude will move in the direction that you most often adopt and exercise.

May 2017 be a year where we actively look for opportunities to contribute in a way to our community that we will write ourselves into the story of making our home the place we want to live in.

At this early stage of the year we have the opportunity to become a positive character who will influence the whole story by the way that we interact with others. To bring about change in the world we first have to change our attitudes and our conversations both for ourselves and within the community

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