Sunday-to-Sunday: 30th June – 7th July 2024

Dear Friends, As I was looking for quotes related to refugees and boats last week, I came across this poem by young Somali-British writer and poet, Warsan Shire. The line that was picked up in my search was: you have to understand,that no one puts their children in a boatunless the water is safer than the land It was such a powerful line, I went searching for the poem and was not disappointed. There are parts of this poem, entitled Read more…

Sunday-to-Sunday: 16th to 23rd June 2024

Dear Friends, This week Rudy Prasetya sent me this picture of a mural depicting David and Goliath that he took in Regensburg, Germany. As he says, “the proportions between them seem more accurate!” David and Goliath are a powerful metaphor for the struggles we experience, and thinking about how those struggles impact the lives of many in our world, this coming Sunday we are backtracking to celebrate Refugee Week (16-22 June). I want to share with you the reflection Gershon Read more…

Sunday-to-Sunday: 9th – 16th June

Dear Friends, It is not often someone shaking the minister’s hand at the door of the church describes the service – excuse the language – as ‘kick-arse’! But that was the case on Sunday! It was a powerful service – hearing from Karen Pack about the damage that is done when LGBTIQ+ people are told that the unconditional love of Jesus is actually conditional; and the healing that is done when they genuinely experience that love from others. She quoted Read more…

Sunday-to-Sunday: 2nd – 9th June

“Everyone is cranky at the moment!” That’s what we’ve been saying in our house this week. It seems patience is just a bit thinner and fuses just a bit shorter than usual. I was looking up the ACT Government Health site to see if the Covid health advice had changed (it remains the same; see below for details*) but on their “Be well this winter” page, I came across this advice: “Take steps to maintain your physical and mental health Read more…

Sunday-to-Sunday: 26th May – 2nd June 2024

Dear Friends, As I shared at church, last Saturday was an exciting day! It was the first General Meeting of the Open Baptists, and at that meeting Canberra Baptist Church and South Yarra Community Baptist Church became the first member churches of the new association. The significance of what we are doing hit home for me at the end of the meeting when Phil Smith (who shared his story with CBC at the time of the same-sex marriage plebiscite) said Read more…

Sunday-to-Sunday: 19th to 26th May

Dear Friends, It was wonderful to hear an update Sunday on our project ‘Improving the Lives of People with Disabilities’ in Bangladesh. Mike Bartlett from Baptist World Aid mentioned they are experiencing a downturn in donations due to cost-of-living pressures. I know these are real concerns, but can I encourage you to give generously to people who are facing much greater living pressures! And remember – our Thank Offering closes this Sunday, 26 May! Your generous donations can be made Read more…

Sunday-to-Sunday: 5th-12th May 2024

Dear Friends, I am on leave this week (until Thursday 9 October), but thinking about the May Mission Month theme, ‘Mending’, I was reminded of a reflection I wrote in May 2019 about the BBC series, The Repair Shop. (You might remember episodes of this programme being aired on the ABC.) I loved this programme! I wrote, back in 2019: “In each episode three people bring a family heirloom to ‘The Repair Shop’. This is a temporary installation housed in Read more…

Sunday-to-Sunday: 28th April – 5th May 2024

I have two clear memories of unwanted prayer for ‘healing’. The first was when I was a young woman and went to see our pastor to relay the young people’s concerns about the Sunday evening service. (As background, the pastor had decided that every Sunday night service should centre on an altar call. After four weeks of altar calls the young people were hoping to ‘mix things up’ – just a little!) To my shock, in the privacy of his Read more…

Sunday-to-Sunday: 14th – 21st April

Dear Friends, The events of Saturday onwards have been a constant onslaught. The news of killings in the Bondi Junction Shopping Centre. The heartbrokenness of parents grieving for the lives their son had taken, as well as the life of their son. The extraordinary acts of courage in the face of danger. The reinforcing of threat; of harm and illogical hatred, towards women. And then came the events of Monday night. The attacking of a controversial priest. The terrible actions Read more…

Sunday-to-Sunday: 7th – 14th April

It was incredibly tragic news, over a week ago now, that aid worker Zomi Frankcom had been killed by an Israeli airstrike, along with six other aid workers, while delivering food aid in northern Gaza. It was particularly poignant to hear this news at Easter. As the Frankcom family reflected, “We are deeply mourning the news that our brave and beloved Zomi has been killed doing the work she loves delivering food to the people of Gaza. She was a Read more…