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Pictured- The GenSec hard at work 8500ft over Weipa

Reflection – Refreshment of the Spirit

Over the last few months, I have been on the road. To the Kimberly, on the Ghan, then out Western Queensland including Thargomindah and Yowah, and then just this week up and around the Western Cape up to Thursday Island and then back to Cloncurry.

How amazing is God who showed me in every place where the gracious and spacious work of the Trinity is apparent, with or without the Uniting Church.

How restoring it is to experience completely different communities, with different needs and different stories, all holding out for the new hope, the new way, the refreshment and healing of the Spirit.

How humbling it was to immerse myself in God’s deep time. Sunrises and sunsets without a watch, days where the weather determined my plans, digging and fossicking for fossils and rocks formed millennia ago.

It was wonderful to experience God’s complete and utter transformation of my life again. Behold, I shall show you a new thing! Release that which burdens you! Remember, it is not all about you! Be present with what I have for you today.

There were times I had to have my General Secretary hat on to see that which was unjust and unsafe, but for the most part, the warmth and care of those who journeyed with me in these communities provided buoyancy to all I saw and heard and felt. At all times, I felt safe and supported, knowing that I was working in God’s time and for God’s purposes.

One of the things that helped me find this state of grace was the experience of going up in small aircraft. The way the plane held us safely in the tumult of the sky, the incredible views of creation from 8500ft, and the navigation, patience and thoughtfulness of the pilots entrusted with my care (a shout out here to Garry and Theresa Hardingham). In all these things, small and large, the abundance of grace was evident.

Another thing was the arrival in communities where I walked and talked, shared a meal and stories and felt again the Spirit in each place, sometimes in prayer, at other times in quiet reflection. This is the way of the wise, to relinquish what absorbs you in its detail and to spend the time to listen and be present with others. In the community, God is always at work.

So my friends, welcome each day and the blessings it brings. Be prepared to relinquish all you know to follow the compulsion of mission. For in this, we know that we are held and will find in each day the support of our redeeming Lord. Praise be to God.

Rev Heather den Houting, General Secretary Queensland Synod. 

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