The Eighth Day Dawns
From West Melbourne Baptist Church to ‘The Community of the Eighth Day’
(from a pamphlet handed to the local community at its festival)
written by Rev Gary Heard

We’ve been in this community for over 130 years under the name of West Melbourne Baptist Church, now we’ve decided it’s time for a change of name: The Community of the Eighth Day. It’s a sign that we are looking forward.

So why “The Eighth Day”?

We are aware that many people find themselves under pressure to live and work 24/7 lives, while clamouring for some more time and space to discover fresh perspective and inspiration. There is an emerging trend of people checking out of the pressured lifestyle and actively down-sizing their work commitment to discover life itself: more time for the relationships and pursuits which are important to them. Sick of living in and working for an economy, they are keen to explore the greater aspects of life and willing to pay a price to do so. An “eighth day” image offers something outside the square, something not part of the 24/7 existence which characterises much of what our society has to offer.

Bringing another perspective: From the outset of time, when the seven days of creation was over, humanity was left with the task of living life. They entered new territory, seeking to discover who they were to be and how they would make use of the time and talents at their disposal. Of course they stuffed up from time to time, but the task of living at the start of something new is something we face each day. We learn from the past and move into the future, shaping it by the choices we make and the reflections we undertake on our past actions.

And there is another important “Eighth Day” in the story of the Christian faith: the eighth day of Holy Week (Easter) is Resurrection Sunday – the day when the perspective on life, death and God’s attitude was re-written starkly. The One who was condemned by and under the law was vindicated by God and raised to new life. From the Eighth Day on, followers of Jesus had to learn what it meant to live in the light of the death and resurrection of Jesus. It was a world in which God clearly acted to show His love and life, His grace.

We are not disowning the heritage which is implied in our old name, but we have no interest in fighting old battles. We are more interested in meeting people where they are today, accepting them for who they are, and engaging with the challenges and questions which life brings. In looking for signs of God’s presence today, we aim to shape and live lives which create a better world for all.

We’d love to engage with you on this journey.

October 12, 2003
return to Spirituality home page
Go to the next Article
Feedback to Author