This is one of the Stewardship stories in 2016. It was shared by Peter Subramaniam.
When Catherine and I moved to Adelaide 15 years ago, we had temporary housing in an apartment on Melbourne street north Adelaide – just around the corner. We had relocated and had with us our daughter Hannah – aged just over a year old
As we settled in , as all new families are wont to do, we relished our time together and the adventure of discovery of our new city home – we would often wheel Hannah’s little pusher and explore north Adelaide on foot.
On one of our little walks, we literally stumbled on Brougham Place. I remember Hannah and I walking up the front steps – her soft little hand in mine – and we ascended up the porch of this imposing Greco-Italian fronted church with its added tower. We took. a little peek into the sanctuary – its majestic central pipe organ – and the invocation on the front wall.
We were struck.
Soon our little family discovered Brougham Place the church , and we were welcomed by Brougham Place the community.
Since that time , we have been blessed with our boys ,Samuel and William – who were both baptised by Phil Hoffman – William to the sound of bagpipes and Samuel to the strains of a favourite welsh hymn – at this baptismal font. Our children have spent some formative time with Erica, Linda and Bronwyn and more recently with Jono and Alison Tuke.
Brougham Place welcomed us and ours – the visits of our parents – with my late mother , Esme, and my father – who actually turns 87 today – finding particular friendship with David Muirhead on their visits to BPUC.
A special connection between our little family and Dorothy Way remains over the years and is part of our connection to BPUC
The complexities of family life , careers, competing activities and the angst of teenage journeys of self discovery (known to many a parent ) are familiar to those of you who have all done this before.
Our presence or absence from Sunday worship service is never regarded by our brougham place family as anything other than the normal rhythms of life and the warmth of the welcome has never altered even after a period of absence.
Brougham Place is now a part of who I am . It is no longer just a place for Sunday worship.
Brougham Place is a soft warm blanket that I can wrap around me when I am missing my family in Malaysia .
Brougham Place is a shoulder to lean my head on and place to light a candle to grieve for a friend lost in the meaningless act of destruction that was the shooting down of MH17.
Brougham Place is the smile and a handshake and hugs of a heartfelt passing of peace done every week with the same generosity and sincerity
Brougham Place is a moment of reflection sitting in a pew listening to homilies intelligently and creatively put together – delivered in a joyful Aussie lilt or a calming , reassuring Texan drawl – helping to make sense of a sometimes difficult and uncomfortable world.
Brougham Place is a renewal of energy and the encouragement of the Christ story of unconditional love and never ending service – when there are just too many broken patients beyond the capacity of a surgeons hands to mend or too much anger and division in a bureaucracy and a political system to heal a struggling health system meant for all
The humble. gifts we put in the offering bag or the noisy bucket are but tokens of a material contribution.
But the most valued gift that I bring to Brougham Place is the same valuable gift that I receive from Brougham Place – i am – in my own small way – a part of this community that is God’s love – that I feel in me, through me and around me when I am here.