Dear friends,

It was wonderful to join in worship – from as far away as Scotland Island (sadly, not as far away as the Scottish Isles!) – last weekend and to hear James reflect on the examples of courage and sacrifice he had seen, as well as hear him interrogate a focus on the fallen that does not include our fallenness as human beings. It was a moving and challenging service.

This Sunday we move into May Mission Month and I have been inspired by the Global Interaction resources to think about how we are coming ‘alongside’ others in our conviction that nothing matters more than sharing God’s love with our world.

Please check out the May Mission Month introduction here

There are practical, generous ways we will do this – in our special Canberra Baptist Thank Offering on Sunday 16th May – which goes to help communities in Bangladesh currently working to combat the pandemic, but there are also lots of practical, personal, gospel ways that we are coming alongside people in our community, in our neighbourhoods, in authentic expressions of mission. We are going to feature some of those this month as we explore the marks of authentic mission; authentic relationships, authentic expressions of God’s love and authentic ways of following Jesus.

So can I ask you to pray for us as a church this month; for the ministries we will hear about and those who are engaged in them, as well as for each of us as we go about our daily lives living out the love of God.

Please pray too for those parts of our world that are being ravaged by Covid at this time; for the generosity of other counties in offering resources, for the wisdom for governments and administrations, for the courage and capacity of medical staff and for comfort and strength for those who are sick or who have sick loved ones.

And please keep those in our church who are facing significant health challenges at this time in your prayers – and their families.

This Sunday is the May Assembly and while it does not deal directly with the motions passed at the Special Assembly in February, it does affect who will be making decisions about the implementation of those motions as we vote for the members of the Assembly Council. Please pray for wisdom and grace and generosity of spirit there too.

And this Sunday we have a very special event taking place in the Lounge at 2pm! Dr René Erwich, the Principal of Whitley College in Melbourne, will be speaking on Sexuality and Theology. René was appointed Principal of Whitley College in 2017 after working as a research professor in Practical Theology in the Netherlands for a number of years. His focus in teaching and research is always on the intersection of faith, religious practices and society; creating connections and integration of the realities of today’s world with the realities of the Gospel of the Kingdom. It’s wonderful to have him with us and to have the opportunity to examine this subject with him. If you have special questions you’d like considered, please email them to me and I will pass them on.

Grace and peace to you all.


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