Nathan Brown, whom I admire a great deal, recently resigned as editor of the South Pacific Record, the church paper in Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands. The following was published as one of his final editorials. I found many of the points of relevance to us and worth pondering:

I hope . . .

I hope we do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with our God.

I hope Christianity is real--to you.

I hope we can better seek, celebrate and create beauty in our world.

I hope we can learn to listen better--to God, to each other and to our communities.

I hope we really believe that "it is more important to be kind than it is to be right."

I hope we can focus more on faithfulness than our various measures of "success."

I hope we can admit that "we don't know"--that we don't have all the answers and that's OK.

I hope we can be less worried about control and more interested in community.

I hope we can one day recognize women as equally human, equally Christian, equally capable and equally called.

I hope we spend less time reinforcing our walls than building our centre.

I hope you're a treehugger, both literally and metaphorically.

I hope we have stopped "selling" God.

I hope our first response to disaster is to help the hurting, not pull out our prophecy charts.

I hope we can learn to be more humble, more generous, more courageous and more joyful.

I hope you watch the sunset sometimes.

I hope you don't believe everything you read in our church publications.

I hope we don't really think music is as important as some would have us believe. [Some churches in the SPD have been having huge conflict over music.]

I hope we can find better ways to remember and share Sabbath, and better things to do on Sabbath afternoons.

I hope you are seriously bothered by injustice, poverty and oppression--and are moved to do something about them.

I hope you rejoice you're a Christian.

I hope we aren't so busy running a church that we are forgetting to participate in the kingdom of God.

I hope you watch less TV.

I hope we can learn to address hard questions, to disagree well and to embrace those who are different.

I hope your explanation of what you believe actually sounds like "good news"--to you and to others.

I hope we can find our voice as a church and begin to speak out on things that matter in ways that our community understands.

I hope there is a stage of life between bright young thing and old hack.

I hope you're vegetarian--for so many reasons.

I hope we are a church that serves the world, not panders to the noisy few.

I hope we can lament.

I hope we still "believe in Christ, live the life."

I hope you read a good book this week.

I hope we can practise the art of apology--and the art of forgiveness.

I hope we are aware of how technology changes us and that we resist blindly pursuing the latest gadget or fad, instead seeking what is most real.

I hope we can learn from other religions, faiths and traditions, respecting their best and seeking their good.

I hope you enjoy and share some kind of art, creativity or similar passion.

I hope we can become a church that values fresh questions more than tired answers.

I hope we aren't just another brand of Church Inc.

I hope we can develop a faith that is more ordinary and everyday--and, in this way, ordinary and everyday can be redeemed.

I hope we can come up with--or borrow--better reasons why we do and believe some of the good things we do.

I hope you believe we can change the world.

I hope we maintain a sense of wonder at the hugeness, variety and miracles of life.

I hope faith, hope and love still remain.

I hope "right temporarily defeated is stronger than evil triumphant" and that it is possible to overcome evil with good.

I hope in Jesus, His life, His death and His resurrection.

I hope to see Him some day.

I hope and I pray.

I hope . . .

"Much dreaming and many words are meaningless. Therefore stand in awe of God" (Ecclesiastes 5:7, NIV).