Dear Friends,

I love the passages we looked at last Sunday – Genesis 1:1-5 and Mark 1:4-11 – the image of the Spirit of God moving on the waters, the dove hovering over Jesus at his baptism, bringing light and hope and life out of the darkness and hopelessness and chaos of our world.

In other words – the promise that the Holy Spirit is our helper.

I don’t want to make assumptions about you, but thinking about my life, and as I look at the work of Canberra Baptist Church, I definitely need helpers. Helpers are good. It is vital for us to draw on the help of the Holy Spirit. It is also vital for us to help each other and to ask for each other’s help. We, as a church body, are much more creative and energetic and life-giving places when, filled with the Spirit’s power, we use our gifts and abilities to help each other.

If there is some way that you would like to use your gifts and energies this year, please email me on If you want to help, but don’t know where or how, also send me an email. Cecelia is currently complying a list of all the volunteering opportunities in the church, so she’d also love to speak to you. Sunday week, we’ll be highlighting the many small groups in our church, meeting in person and online, and that might be another area where you could get involved! (There’ll also be more Safe Church sessions for General Volunteers coming up in February.)

This Sunday, 17th January, is John Morrison’s second last Sunday. Sunday 24th January will be his last Sunday and everyone is invited to bring a picnic lunch to Telopea Park (from 11am) to say farewell and thank him for all his help over the past year.  (We are hoping the ACT Covid restrictions will ease so Kristine can return from Sydney and we can farewell her too.)

And next week is SMAD! Alison and Penny Jackson have said they have enough helpers, but we can all do our bit by praying for this programme; for energy for the leaders, safety for everyone and an incredible sense of the love of God being communicated in and through everything that happens.

As I was looking for songs for last Sunday’s service I came across this beautiful American hymn, words by Henry Richard McFayden. The words are a beautiful blessing for us – a reminder of the Spirit’s embracing and invigorating presence in our lives in the year ahead.

The lone, wild bird in lofty flight
is still with you, nor leaves your sight.
And I am yours! I rest in you,
Great Spirit, come, rest in me, too.

The ends of earth are in your hand,
the sea’s dark deep and far off land.
And I am yours! I rest in you,
Great Spirit, come, rest in me, too.

Each secret thought is known to you,
the path I walk my whole life through;
my days, my deeds, my hopes, my fears,
my deepest joys, my silent tears.


PS You can listen to the Honey Whiskey Trio sing a  beautiful arrangement of the hymn here –

Rev Belinda Groves

Team Leader, Canberra Baptist Church

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