I’m sitting in a big auditorium at an event called The Global Leadership Summit. Barb has organised it for us as a professional development experience AND it is all about leadership and it is excellent.
It has prompted me to be intentionally communicative since, as Cheryl reminds me, what we don’t know we tend to make up. That was certainly how Jesus’ disciples behaved again and again [I say with a smile].
There is a lot going on behind the scenes and most of it you don’t want to know about, though a few things are worth getting in context. Some people have understandably shown a degree of concern about Cheryl and me moving out of the Rectory sometime in the new year. For some of you, I hear you when you say it is unsettling. I thank you for telling me and your honesty.
It has been an unsettling 2017 – for some of you, for our planet and for me. Any one of the following list would have been enough for one year: helping mum resettle into more supportive accommodation; selling her house and our rental house; two new hips; Cheryl resuming paid employment; writing relationship understandings for James’ new venture The Common and taking the diocesan heat around that because understandably they don’t get it; standing with the Duffs in weeks of illness; driving a process to get the Carrs here; and accountably deciding and determining to purchase and renovate a place as near to St Philips as we can afford.
Here is the thing for Cheryl and me. We are moving from the Rectory and accommodating the Carrs next door because I and your church Council honestly believe, without equivocation, that it is the best for the ongoing growth, ministry and energising of St Philips.
Our motivation to sell, spend, buy and renovate somewhere else is because it serves God’s mission better than any other option. We are totally invested in what God called us to here in Cottesloe over a decade ago . . . and he is with us and blessing us in that investment, evidenced by what has happened in Palmyra, Africa and many of your lives and spheres of influence.
We are all doing life under the gracious hand of God, aren’t we? We are mostly doing the best we can, aren’t we? And it makes such a difference when people stand alongside us. Please hold on with us, take the adventure, ask lots of questions, feel free to grieve change, stay generous, be kind and encouraging to others. You are in an intriguing community at an interesting time.
Kieran needs three to five years to build a culture of ‘generation next’, and it must be built near St Philips Cottesloe. These are exciting times but it is a future we cannot yet fully see. We are looking through a glass darkly. But our focus is clear; Jesus changes everything for everyone. Look to him, celebrate what he is doing in you and near you, and pray for what the Duffs will achieve, what Kieran will bring to our youth, young adults and families and what Barb is already doing that is so inclusive and life-giving.
Be strong and of good courage.