WHEN the Church of Christ Ainslie was burgled recently, its pastor Ken Perrin practised what he preaches and placed a message on the public noticeboard out the front saying: “Dear burglar, we forgive you”.
It’s the third or fourth time someone has broken in during Ken’s 11 years at the church.
“At the time, feelings that run through are ‘why?’” says Ken.
Even though only a small amount of money was stolen the repairs to a smashed window and jimmied door will be costly.
But, this doesn’t seem to anger Ken, who says: “I learn over time that it’s better for me to forgive than to hold on to something that will make me anxious.
“When you’re at peace with yourself, it’s better for you.”
The following week, the church put up another sign directed at the burglar saying: “If you’d like to come in, the op-shop is open every Friday morning from 10am-2pm.”
“The op-shop isn’t just an op-shop, it’s virtually a drop-in centre,” Ken says.
“Our hope is that people will see the sign and think: ‘Wow, that’s not what we expected’.”
Ken believes that faith is all about looking for the best in people, including the burglar.
Two and a half months after the announcement of a new winter festival to be called “Elsewhere”, ACT Arts Minister Gordon Ramsay has announced yet another festival to be called “Where You Are” – but it’s probably the same one, writes arts editor HELEN MUSA.