A Happy New Year to all of our Mid North Coast Presbytery community! Hopefully we have been able to take some time out to celebrate the Christmas season with family and friends and enter 2019 with a sense of refreshment and hope.
As I enter my third year as Chair of the presbytery, I feel a sense of encouragement and am hopeful of a positive year ahead. With a new Pastoral Relations Committee and a somewhat tweaked Standing Committee, there has been an exciting infusion of fresh thought in our leadership group.
We have already had a couple of celebrations of ministry to whet our appetite for what lies ahead. On the last Sunday of December at the Port Macquarie UC combined morning service, we celebrated the Commissioning of our newest Lay Preacher Jessi Mervyn-Jones. A number of Presbytery people made the trip to swell the numbers of an already packed congregation and it was a great time of celebration. Our thanks to Malcolm H and his team who made the day very special indeed.
On January 13 another large number gathered at Coffs Harbour UC to share in the Induction Service of Rev Myung Hwa Park as Minister of the Word with the Coffs Harbour and Sawtell congregations. I was greatly encouraged by the number of people who attended from across the presbytery and we all enjoyed a positive and hope-filled day. The message from Rev Ivan Roberts was a real highlight for me. My personal thanks to the leadership of both congregations for their support in all of the arrangements.
But wait – there’s more! On Sunday February 17 at 2.00pm we are all invited to the South West Rocks UC for another Induction service and to welcome Rev Ryang-Joon (David) Kim and his wife Hye Ja Kim to ministry with the Lower Macleay River congregations.
Of course we will be well aware of this as we have our first meeting of the year the previous day on Saturday the 16th at Port Macquarie. Our special guest at this meeting will be the General Secretary of the NSW-ACT Synod Rev Jane Fry.
After more than two years at the helm you will have hopefully worked out a few things about me and how I understand ministry. The heading for this missive is ‘2 G’s for 2019’. I have heard and seen more than enough in the church of the opposite of my 2 G’s: Miserable and Mean.
So my focus for this year and beyond is going to be GENEROUS and GRATEFUL. My favourite example of Jesus’ generosity are in the parable of the sower and the seed found in Matthew 13. This was a story of a very sloppy farmer! He threw his seed on the path (nothing will grow there!), he threw it on the rocky ground (no hope there!) and he threw it among the thorns (waste, waste, waste!!); but some fell on good soil and didn’t we see a harvest?!
Do you not say, “Four months more, then comes the harvest”?
But I tell you, look around you, and see how the fields are ripe for the harvesting. John 4:35
So go ahead – Sow some seed in 2019.