Dear Friends,

As many of you have heard, our lovely friend, Bev Galloway, died early yesterday (Tuesday 22nd February). She was able to come home from hospital last Friday and to spend her last few days with James, and her very good friend, Gina, and with her children and grandchildren coming and going from the house. She will be very missed. We are so thankful for all that she brought to the life of our church; her work on the diaconate, her presence in the prayer group, her intelligence and humour and grace that enriched our small groups, and her friendship. She was a good friend.

At this stage the funeral arrangements have not been made, but there will be news in the bulletin on Friday.

We have been reflecting on our values (or what shapes our commitment to Christ) as Baptists over the last month, and on Sunday we looked at ‘mission’. What is mission? Is it giving to or assisting those in need?  Is it always being ready to share the reason for the hope that is within us? Is it making God known in the world? Is it sharing God’s love and justice in our words and our actions? Is it all of the above?

In the passage we looked at on Sunday, John 6: 1-14 it was disciples taking what Jesus had blessed and being prepared to share it and share it and share it and share it…

Perhaps it is the good things that we have. Are they blessed by God? Can we share them further? Perhaps it is the gifts and abilities that God has given us. Are they blessed by God? Are we prepared to share them with others? Perhaps it is our time. Is our time blessed by God? Can we use our time in a way that will give further blessing? Perhaps it is our words. Are they blessed by God? How can our words bring hope and strength and joy into other people’s lives?

Perhaps it is all of the above! After all we are Baptists! We believe in full immersion; that all of us gets baptised, that all of us is blessed by God, so all of us can bless others. We want to be able to continue to bless others in a whole-hearted, full-bodied way as a church, as we move into our 94th year of mission in this city.

As Paul says to the Corinthians (2 Corinthians 9): “The point is this: the one who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the one who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.….God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work.”

As we continue to think about Bev I will certainly remember her as someone who sowed her goodness and gifts and time and words (her love) bountifully. Someone who I am sure will also reap bountifully.

The peace of Christ be with us all,


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